Keeping Track of Your Medications
In our current age, there are numerous options for treating RA. A wide range of biologics, DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), and steroids exist. And yet with all these options, keeping track of your medicine can be cumbersome. Although I’m currently on Plaquenil as a pill twice a day and Humira as a self-injecting pen every two weeks, keeping track of which pills I have to take and when my injection days are is difficult. I want to talk today about some of the different ways I stay on-top of my medicine and explore some unique options for traveling.
My suggestions on how to keep track of medications
Invest in a pill calendar
The first thing I bought for my RA was a pill calendar box from Target. This allowed me to accurately track and place my pills with the correct days, ensuring that I wouldn’t miss a dose. Sometimes the time to take my medication clashes with when I’m at work, so I bought a pill calendar box that had removable parts, so I could take the day’s worth of medication with me. This has significantly improved the ease of taking my Plaquenil and has given me peace of mind that I have my medication with me.
Consider downloading the Humira Complete app
Starting any biologic is a daunting experience. When I started Humira in October, I had no idea where to begin or how I would track my injections. My nurse then told me about Humira Complete, an app that helps you inject your medication and log the injections on your phone.
When it is time to inject your medicine, the app will start a timer so you can let the medication come to room temperature; then it shows you where on your body you did your last injection and lets you pick where you will inject this time. After showing you what you need and how to inject, it gives you the option to place the log number and expiration date for that specific injection. This is particularly useful for your doctors in case you have any reaction to Humira. In my personal experience, the Humira Complete app is the most useful tool I’ve used in helping me keep track of my medications.
In addition, the Humira Complete app contains more ways to manage your medication than simply tracking your injections. You can order an injection training kit, a sharps container, talk to a designated nurse, sign up for the Humira Complete card, and, as I talk about down below, a travel case for your medication.
Prepare in advance for travel with your medications
Recently, I’ve been on many road trips, and something I’ve never had to consider before is my schedule for my biologics. Since moving to Florida, I’ve traveled frequently for conferences, work, and vacation; however, travel now is much different, particularly if the trip falls during an injection week. There’s much more preparation and planning involved but there are also specific tools and apps that can help with planning your journey.
Traveling with biologics is possible!
At first glance, it might seem that traveling with any biologic is impossible. This is not the case. For Humira, they offer many ways to help you pack and plan, including a free travel carrying case for your medication if you’re enrolled in the Humira Complete program.
A convenient carrying case makes travel easier
The carrying case has two ice packs that sandwich the Humira pen in between. It’s quite convenient if you’re traveling for more than 14 days (remember that a Humira pen can be taken out of the fridge, stored at room temperature, and protected from the light for as long as 14 days) but also convenient for carrying your pen with you.
Be sure to note when you take the pen out of the fridge on the back of the pen’s packaging, so you can keep track of how long it’s been out. I want to also point out that I am not affiliated with AbbVie (the company that manufactures Humira) in any way; I wanted to share my experiences with you so that you might find some use and help in keeping track of your biologics!
So, how do you keep track of your medications for RA?
When was your last flare?