Four Tips for Remembering to Take Your Medication

Do you sometimes forget when and how to take your medicine? Here are some tips to help you remember!

July 18, 2016 | HF Healthy Living Team

Medication can be a big part of keeping you healthy. When taken correctly, medicine can help you manage a condition, reduce pain, and even cure an illness. For your medication to help you the way it should, you need to take it as prescribed—the way your doctor tells you.

It can be easy to forget when and how you are supposed to take your medication, especially if you take more than one. Here are some things you can do that might make it easier to remember.

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Know What Your Medication Does

Ask your doctor how your medicines work and why you are taking them. Some medicines should be taken with food, and some should not. Understanding why may help you remember to take your medicine before or after you eat.

Some medicines may work better when taken at a certain time, or they may stop working or make you sick if taken with other medicine. You can learn more about how your medicines work when taken together here.

Set a Reminder

Set an alarm for when it’s time to take your medicine, or make a pattern. For example, if you take your medicine in the morning, keep it somewhere you’ll see it when you wake up. If you take your medicine at night, store it next to your toothbrush so you’ll be reminded to take it after you brush your teeth and before you go to bed.

Make a Schedule

Write down what times on what days to take your medicine, and stick to your schedule! You can also use a medicine box to sort your medicine for each week ahead of time to help you remember whether or not you’ve taken it.

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Get Refills

Ask for a refill before you run out of medicine, and pick it up as soon as it is ready. That way you won’t run out of medicine and miss doses by accident.

If picking up your medicine is difficult, ask your pharmacist if you can get your prescriptions mailed to you. If you have health insurance, ask if you can sign up for 90-day refills so that you can limit the number of times you have to go to the pharmacy.

Remember, if you take prescription drugs:

Never:

  • Take expired medicine. Check the labels on your medicine. If the expiration date has passed or is coming soon, ask your doctor for a new prescription.
  • Mix medicines. Mixing medicines makes it easy to take the wrong ones. Keep each of your medicines in its own bottle or box. Use this Pill Identifier to make sure that your medicines are where they should be.
  • Start taking a new medication without talking to your doctor. Some drugs may cause others to stop working, or make you sick. Always tell your doctor what medicines you are taking, whether or not they are prescription drugs. Go here to create a medicine list that you can take with you to your doctor’s appointments.

Always:

  • Store medicine in a safe place. Medicine should be kept in a cool, dry place such as a drawer or closet. The bathroom cabinet may not be the best place for medicine, because it can get too warm or damp.
  • Take medicine exactly as directed. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you how and when to use your medication. Follow these directions! Don’t change how much or how often you take your medicine without talking to your doctor.
  • Continue taking as directed, even if you’re feeling better. If you stop taking your medicine too early, you might start to feel worse or risk your health.
 

©2016 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Sources
“Quick Tips for Taking Medications,” American Heart Association. November 7, 2014.
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/PreventionTreatmentofHighCholesterol/Quick-Tips-for-Taking-Medications_UCM_305636_Article.jsp#.VzNHFbf2bIU

“Taking medicine at home – create a routine,” MedlinePlus. May 3, 2016.
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000613.htm

“Tips to Remember and Stay on Your Medications,” MedicineNet.com. Accessed May 13, 2016.
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=14476

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