You know what it’s like—you’re not feeling well, you’re sitting in the GP’s surgery and she’s just asked if you’re okay with Penicillin.
Your mind goes blank.
I don’t know, am I? Shouldn’t your GP have this information on file?
I have a simple, portable solution.
Something that I’ve been doing for years is keep a track of all my prescribed medication on my mobile device. At first this was a database on my Psion PDA, now it’s in my password manager application of choice, SafeInCloud.
I will always update my medication repository in SafeInCloud whenever I am prescribed something. I tend to do this on my desktop PC but as my password manager file is automatically synchronised between my desktop PC, laptop and Android smartphone, I have the information wherever I go, including sitting in the GP surgery.
SafeInCloud allows me to create a custom template to consistently capture the information I need. My drugs template has an icon of medicine capsules and the following fields:
- Drug name
- Drug type
- Dose (mg)
- Prescribed for—a quick summary to remind me why I was given it.
- OK?—Was I okay with this medication or were there some issues?
- Side effects
- When to take—e.g. two hours before food
- Take with—e.g. drink with water
- Avoid—e.g. avoid milk
- First prescribed—how long have I been using this?
- Last prescribed—how long ago did I have it?
- Website—I want more information about this
I also use colour coding on the icons as a quick way to see whether I’m okay with these drugs.
- Grey means that I saw no effect from this medication.
- Green means that I’m fine with these drugs.
- Yellow means that I’m mostly okay but I do suffer some mild side effects.
- Red means that I have an allergy or serious side effects.
I find this really useful. I no longer have to rely on my memory, especially for some of the more obscure medications. I suspect you should be able to do something similar in other password manager applications.