Dose Administration Aid
From time to time everybody who has to take medicines can have some difficulty remembering to take them as directed, on time, and until they are finished. This is only natural as medications often involve a set a complex directions, and as the number of medications increases, the challenges involved become greater. In fact, there is very good evidence to show that as the number of medications that a person needs to take every day increases, the likelihood that a person can take these medicines as directed decreases. There are various different ways to help with this problem – these can include having a relative, friend or carer provide some help and reminders, using a calendar (either paper or electronic) where is tick box reminders, receiving visits or phone calls from services that can be set up to support people with their medication needs, as well as other techniques. One option which has proven to be very successful and widely used is to use a Dosage Administration Aid (DAA), which is a term used to describe various different storage containers that help to organise the medications in a way that allows people to remember to take them at the appointed time more easily – any people refer to these containers as “pill organisers.” DAAs can take many different forms, and the most appropriate product to use will depend upon the individual needs of each person. Simple examples of these organisers can be purchased from a pharmacy or even a supermarket, but there are many available. One of the most popular forms of DAA is called a Webster Pak, which is used by thousands of Australians as an assistive device that helps them to remember to take their medications as directed.
The Webster Pak uses a durable plastic frame (typically blue in colour) that attaches to a flexible plastic blister pack which can be tailored to provide individual blisters of an appropriate size to contain all of the medications that must be packed. Kersbrook Pharmacy dispenses the medications from prescriptions provided by your doctor, and places these into the blister cells of the Webster Pak. The medications that are packed will include all of those that are taken every day at a regular time and at a constant determined dose, as indicated by your doctor. Some medications (such as those which have variable dose, all those only intended for short term use such as antibiotics) may not be packed, but will be supplied by the pharmacy separately. When all of the medications have been placed in the correct blister cell, the pharmacy then seals them in place using a flexible foil backing, and clamps this in place by closing the plastic frame. The Webster Pak will also contain information to identify the person for whom the medicines are intended, and a list of the medications that are currently being prescribed by the doctor. Typically, the pharmacy will retain the prescriptions on file at the premises in Kersbrook, and dispense medications for each week as they are needed. If changes are made by the doctor, Kersbrook Pharmacy can respond by adjusting the medications that are packed. The sealed the Webster Pak unit is safe and easy to transport, meaning that it is simple to bring it along to medical appointments or hospital visits, or two pack it when travelling (hidden when going overseas).
As a part of the commitment to supporting our customers in the safe and effective use of their medications, Kersbrook Pharmacy provide the service of packing the medications for each person into their Webster Pak without charge. The pharmacy will also make arrangements for delivery of each weeks supply to local customers, after agreeing on a time that is convenient to everybody. Alternatively, some people prefer to pick up their Webster Pak when they are in the pharmacy for other reasons. It is important that if the medications are going to be delivered to the home, someone should be available to receive the delivery, or a suitable place to leave the Webster Pak (secure and not exposed to extreme weather conditions) can be agreed upon.
Sometimes the pack will contain medications that are strictly controlled (e.g. Powerful pain medications), and it will be necessary for somebody to sign off to indicate that the delivery has taken place.
It is a good idea for each person to speak to the pharmacist from time to time about their medications that are in the pack: In this way any concerns or problems can be raised, and the pharmacist can check with the doctor about intentions. At times it will be necessary to make adjustments turn the medications that are packed before the week has elapsed. If this becomes necessary, simply call the Kersbrook Pharmacy to make the necessary arrangements.
- If using a pack like a Webster Pak, it is important to keep a number of things in mind:
- Always store the pack in a safe place, free from exposure to extreme temperatures and other conditions that could damage the Integrity of the medicine;
- Keep the pack out of reach of children and animals. Dispose of any unused medications in a safe way – the pharmacy can assist with this
- Understand that not all medications that you may need to take will always be at in the Webster Pak – sometimes medications may be dispensed in addition to those which are in the pack
- If your doctor makes any changes to your medications it is important to tell the pharmacy about this so that the medications in the pack can be adjusted to reflect what is intended
- Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns that you may have about the pack with the staff at the pharmacy, who are always happy to assist
A Webster Pak or other DAA can be very helpful to assist people in taking their taking their medications as intended. Situations in which a dosage administration aid can be particularly helpful include:
- People taking multiple medications
- People with complex medication needs
- Situations where the administration of medicines may be undertaken by others, including school children, those with significant disability and people with memory problems
- Older people living independently
- People receiving support services
- People who might have difficulty reading medication labels written in English
- People with compromised vision
Please ask to speak with our friendly professional staff at Kersbrook Pharmacy to discuss whether dosage administration aid packing is right for you, or click here for further information