Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide
Tips for staying on track with treatment
By taking your meds at the right time and in the right amount as explained by your doctor, you can help treatment work for you! This isn’t always easy but there are steps you can take to help. Consider trying some or all of these tips for staying on track with treatment:
- Do a “dry run” before starting treatment. Practice your treatment routine using jelly beans or mints. If you can, try to figure out if it’s harder for you to follow the routine at certain times. Work with a healthcare provider to develop a routine that works for you.
- Choose times to take meds that both follow the instructions and fit your schedule.
- Ask for a written copy of your treatment plan. It should list each medication, when to take it and how much to take—in a way that is easy for you to follow.
- Keep a medication diary. Write down the names of your meds in your diary and then check off each dose as you take it. This is a good way to prevent missing doses or taking too many doses. You can also use a pill box to help you keep track of your meds as you take them.
- Use timers or alarm clocks to remind you when to take your meds.
- Plan ahead. Use a pill box to take extra doses of meds with you when you’re out. If you’re going away for a longer period of time, you can put your peg-interferon in a cooler with an icepack. If you plan on traveling, especially by plane, ask your healthcare provider for a letter so that you don’t have problems bringing your meds with you.
- Develop a support network of family members, friends and service providers who can remind you to take your meds.
- Talk with other people who have been through or are going through treatment for Hep C. They may have more tips and sometimes it helps to hear other people’s experiences.
- Have a stable place to rest, food to eat and access to a fridge. For some people, this means applying for financial assistance (such as social assistance, disability assistance or community housing). If you don’t have a fridge, you can talk with your pharmacist about picking your meds up weekly.
- Tackle side effects. If the side effects bother you, you can talk with your doctor about how to deal with them. For example, your doctor might be able to prescribe other medications to help. You can also learn tips for coping with them in Managing side effects.
- Talk with your doctor or nurse if you are having trouble. Your doctor or nurse may recommend changing your treatment routine so that it works better for you.
If you do miss a dose, don’t beat yourself up and don’t double up your next dose to make up for it. Get back on track by taking your next dose on schedule. Nobody’s perfect; just do the best you can.