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  Malaysian Society of Allergy & Immunology (MSAI)
  Managing Allergy:  

  Correctly Using Your Medication

• Carefully follow your doctor’s prescription for the time of day and dosage of your medication.
• If your medication is inhaled through the mouth, be certain you know the proper technique (much of the medicine will be lost if the inhaler is incorrectly used).

Tips for remembering to take medications

If you are taking more than one type of medication, or if you are having trouble remembering when to take your medication, you may want to try the following tips:
• Establish a routine. Take your medicine at the same time every day, such as at mealtime or after brushing your teeth. Try to link the idea of taking medication with a daily activity to establish a pattern of compliance.
• Keep a medication diary. Make a note of when you are supposed to take medications and any special instructions you need to remember. Each time you take your medicine you can check it off in your diary so you'll know if you've missed a dose.
• Create reminders. To help you remember to take your medication, you may want to place it where you will be able to easily see it-on your desk, kitchen table, or next to your toothbrush. Or try putting a reminder note on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, computer, or television.
• Set an alarm. You can set your watch or a clock at home to alert you when it is time to take medication.
• Don't wait to get refills. Sometimes, the containers that hold allergy medicine are opaque, and you may not notice that you've run out of medicine until it's time to get your prescription refilled. Try to refill prescriptions one week before they run out to avoid having to miss a dose. If you're going on vacation, ask your doctor to write you an extra prescription to pack in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost.

Learn about your medications
If you are prescribed an allergy medication, you may want to learn about the medicine, as well as any others used to treat the condition. There are a lot of different allergy medications delivered in many different forms. No one type of medication is “right” for everyone, so your doctor may work with you to determine what option is best for you.
You may want to ask your doctor or pharmacist how your medications work, how soon you may experience symptom relief, and what side effects they may have. This may help you to know what to expect once you begin taking the medication.
There are several treatments including decongestants, antihistamines and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are often used for the treatment of inflammation or swelling of nasal mucosa that may occur as the result of an allergic condition. Corticosteroids, should not be confused with the anabolic steriods sometimes used (or misused) by athletes to improve performance.
Make sure you understand exactly how and when to take your prescription allergy medications. Even if you feel that your allergies are under control, you should continue to take your medication exactly as prescribed until your doctor tells you otherwise.
Certain allergy medications may sometimes need to be taken for a few days or weeks before you begin to feel their effects, so don't give up if you don't experience immediate relief from your symptoms. If you're concerned that your medication isn't working properly, or if you experience any unusual side effects, talk to your doctor about whether your medication is right for you.
Be sure to let your doctor know if you are taking any other types of medication-either prescription or over-the-counter. Different types of medicine may interact, causing unwanted side effects, or may counteract one another.  

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