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Hassle-Free Ways to Handle Medication
Go for longer-acting options: Ask your pharmacist or physician if there is an extended- or sustained-release version of your medication, which doesn't need to be taken as often. One caveat: "Make sure you have no adverse side effects to the immediate-release option before switching to the long-lasting," says Melinda Joyce, corporate director of pharmacy at the Medical Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Some FDA-approved options include once-daily Ultram ER for moderate to more severe chronic pain, the twice-weekly Oxytrol patch for an overactive bladder, once-weekly Prozac for depression, and the once-monthly Boniva tablet and once-yearly Reclast injection for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Reconsider refills: If your prescription plan allows it, order a 90-day supply of your medication. You save not only time but also money because you don't have as many copays during the year. If you're taking medication for a chronic illness and your current regimen is well controlled, you may ask your doctor to prescribe six months' or a year's worth of refills at once.