Medication Usage Tracker

The Medication Tracker allows you to build a list of your medications and document when they are taken. Although you can include all of your meds, it is probably best to limit the list to your key pain medications, and in particular, those meds that you take as breakthrough medication – in other words, those meds that you take on an as needed basis.

By tracking these medications, you’ll be able to give your doctor an accurate analysis of how many doses you are taking per day and how those doses correspond to your pain levels. We also include a study that looks at the effectiveness of a medication on your pain levels over time.

The Tracker includes a couple of sample medications which you can remove during the initial setup of the list. When defining an item you’ll need to supply a description, an amount to increment the counters by, a description for the units of measure for the increment amount (eg. tablet, mg, cc, teaspoons, etc.), and a value for the effectiveness analysis window (see below).

Diary Entry Input

When creating a Diary Entry that includes the Medication Tracker, you will see a list of your medications to choose from. Tap the “+” button next to the medication you want to include until you have the appropriate quantity shown. You can select more than one medication in a single Tracker entry.

When you need to add a new medication item, you’ll scroll to the bottom of the list and select “Edit Table Entries”. This will open the Tracker List Editing window where your current medications are listed. Insert a new item and you’ll see the medication detail screen like that shown to the right.

Medication Tracking with Custom Incremental Units

Medication List Customization

As you can see, the increment quantity can be a value other than 1. So, if you want to track your dosage in “mg” or perhaps fractions of a pill (eg. 0.5 to track taking half a pill), you have that flexibility. Just make sure to match the “units” description to the increment quantity so that things make sense to you and your doctor.

The last field when editing a medication item is the “Analysis Window (hours)”. This is used in the Pain Reduction Effectiveness graph described below. You should set this number to a value slightly longer than the normal effectiveness of the medication. So, if you take the med every six hours, then an 8 hour analysis window would make sense. You can read more about this graph below. If you don’t want to create a Pain Reduction Effectiveness graph for this med, then set the value to zero.

Summary Report Graph Samples

Daily Dosage Totals

This chart displays the daily dosage totals for a given medication as the green markers. The moving average (blue line) and overall daily average (purple line) are also shown on the chart. This makes it easy to give your doctor an estimate of how many pills on average you are taking per day. It also gives an indication to the variability of the dosages.

If the Milestone Tracker has been used during the reporting time period, then you may also have the Milestone markers shown on the chart (as in the sample graph to the right).

Daily Dosage vs Avg Daily Pain Level

This graph examines the relationship between the amount of a medication you take per day and the average daily pain level you experience during that day. This can be an insightful graph for medications where the dosage is indeed variable (eg. breakthrough pain medicines).

The plot shows the avg daily pain level along the x-axis and the daily dosage along the y-axis. Each data point represents a day during the reporting period. The plot also shows a linear regression line plot based on the data and a correlation coefficient factor indicating whether or not there may be a relationship between the two data series. Keep in mind that the correlation coefficient does not guarantee a causal relationship between the data, but it can be an interesting factor to consider as you analyze this data with your doctor.

Pain Level When Taken

This bar graph looks at the Pain Level that was indicated when the Medication usage was documented. For example, in the sample chart, this patient was experiencing pain of Level 6 or above 79% of the time (55% + 21% + 3%) when this med was taken.

This can give the doctor an idea of whether the meds are being taken only when the pain is quite high or if they are taken regardless of pain level.

Pain Reduction Effectiveness

This final graph is a bit more complicated to explain. As such, we have devoted a special post to understanding how this important graph works. In a nutshell, it looks at how the patient’s pain level changes following a dosage of the medication as a function of time since the dosage was taken.