As years go by, memories fade and patients meet new
doctors. It is important to keep a written record of all
the rheumatic medicines prescribed to you over the years to
help both doctors and yourself.
At the request of my Professor of rheumatology, I began a
computer chart of all the rheumatic medicines prescribed to
me. This was 15 years ago, in 1988, when I bought my
original MacPlus. Fortunately, I was able to go back to my
first prescription of Voltaren, on March 17, 1981, so that
my Table of Medications reflects all the medications that I
have ever taken for a rheumatic disease.
I used Microsoft Word to create the Table of Medications. I
created a table with 3 columns, the left column for the
name of medications, the center column for dosage, both the
number of times per day or specific days and the number of
milligrams, and the right column for the period covered and
comments which include adverse side effects like tinnitus,
surgeries, fungus infections and any special instructions
for taking medications. The 3 columns are framed and
separated by a single vertical black line.
Horizontally, the columns are divided by cells, a space in
which to write all the medications prescribed for a given
period of time, with dosage, period covered and comments.
The cells are divided by a double horizontal black line,
making a clear division between the medications prescribed
for each period.
The Table of Medications fits on a regular page of paper, 8
and 1/2 inches by 11 inches, for easy printing. Also, for a
good presentation, page breaks have been inserted after
every 3, 4 or 5 cells so that the whole content of a cell
can be printed on a single page instead of being spread
over 2 pages.
Nowadays, my Table of Medications is 22 pages long. For
convenience, whenever I visit a doctor, I create a specific
Table of Medications which fits on a single page of paper
and covers only the last 4 or 5 periods of medications
prescribed to me. This is usually enough, although I can
add a second or third page, if need be.
With its comments, the Table of Medications contains a
wealth of information on the effectiveness of specific
medications, antibiotic combinations and adverse side
effects. It becomes even more useful when you correlate
test results measuring inflammation with the medications
you were taking at that time.
To help you prepare your own Table of Medications, I will
provide you with an English translation of my Table of
Medications for the current period. At the top of the page
is the title in small capital letters, 14 points high,
Table of Medications. On the next line, on the right side
of the page, is my name, and on the next line, the date on
which I will meet the doctor, as the Table of Medications
is meant to be a record of all the medications I have been
taking up to the date when I meet the doctor. The comments
of the third column should help me to report adverse side
effects and should help the doctor in deciding which
medications to prescribe until the next scheduled visit.
After my name and date, there is the framed title of each
column, Medications, dosage, period covered and comments.
The title of each column is preceded and followed by a
double black line, just as every other cell throughout the
Table of Medications. The effect is quite neat with a
single vertical black line to separate and frame columns,
while cells are separated by double horizontal black lines.
Here is the content of my Table of Medications for the
period of January 29, 2003 to June 4, 2003. In the left
column is a list of each medication, one medication for
each line, Biaxin, Levaquin, Celebrex, Losec, Nystatin,
Acidophilus, Acetaminophen, Codeine Contin, Codeine 30.
In the center column is the dosage for each medication,
making sure that the dosage information appears on the same
line as the medication it is meant for. The list goes like
this, 2 X 500 mg, 1 X 500 mg, 2 X 200 mg, 1 X 20 mg, 3 X
1/4 teaspoon (100,000 i.u./ml), 3 X 2 capsules, 3-4 X 1,000
mg, 2 X 200 mg, 2 X 120 mg & 0-120 mg or 4 X 120 mg or 3 X
180 mg. A capital letter X reads much better when
indicating the number of times a medication is taken.
Finally, the right column for the period covered and
comments, making sure that specific comments start on the
same line as the medication it applies to. The content of
the right column goes like this, 01/29/2003 to 06/04/2003,
Antibiotics taken on an empty stomach with 10-12 ounces of
water, at least 2 hours before a meal, Nystatin because of
Levaquin, Acidophilus 2 hours after antibiotics, 10-30
minutes before eating, Failed attempt to stop Codeine
Contin and reduce codeine starting 02/28/2003.
Hope this helps you keep good computer records for the
medications you take.