In theory, taking your medication shouldn’t take up a lot of time and energy. The reality is that taking medication correctly can be a complicated task, especially if multiple drugs are taken in a day. The dose, intake timing, whether or not you should eat before taking the medicine – these and many other elements play an important factor in ensuring the medicine’s effectiveness.
How and when to take your medicine is quite important for your health and safety. Here are 7 tips and techniques to keep track of your medicine:
Set an alarm or use electronic medication reminders.
To remember when you need to take your medicine, you can use alarms and electronic reminders such as those in your phone or other digital devices. There are apps where you can enter your medication schedule and they will do the reminding for you. To make medication reminders even more simple there are specialized medication reminder devices that can help you to stay on your medication schedule.
Set a time each day when you take your medicine.
If the doctor prescribes that you take your medicine every day, you know you need to follow it. Yet keeping track of when to do it can be challenging. You have a better chance of remembering when to take the pills if you do it the same time each day. By turning it into a habit and incorporating that into your daily routine, taking your medicine will be harder to forget.
List down all the medicine you need to take.
Write a running list of all your prescriptions, vitamins, and supplements. Bring all of these with you to doctor’s appointments and to the pharmacy. Ideally, you should be filling out all your prescriptions at the same pharmacy so that you have a pharmacist who is already familiar with your medication. This way, the pharmacist can advise you on possible side effects and incompatible drug combinations.
Read instructions carefully.
Your medicine comes with specific instructions on the label. Make sure to follow these to avoid side effects or medical complications. By taking the medicine in the exact way that it is prescribed, you optimize the health benefits it provides. The reverse of this is your health can suffer if you take the medication incorrectly. Clarify with your doctor or pharmacist any instructions on the label that you are unsure of and don’t hesitate to ask for guidance if the instructions seem confusing.
Use a pillbox.
Pillboxes can be great in organizing your pills, especially if you need to travel or spend time away from home. These tools have several compartments for your pills, and using them is a good way of seeing if you missed any medication. Most pillboxes have room for a week’s worth of medicine. Other pillboxes have multiple compartments and can accommodate pills that are meant to be taken at different hours of the day.
Make a medication calendar.
Marking the calendar when you need to take your medicine is also a good way for you to keep track of your medications. By listing the name of the drug and the time you need to take it, you have a visual reminder of your schedule.
Have a schedule with your pharmacist.
Also, keep track of your prescription refill dates. Aside from daily reminders to take your medication, you will also need to remember when you should be refilling your prescriptions. If you’re taking maintenance drugs, you cannot afford to run out of them. Some prescriptions are good for a period of months, while others are only good for a shorter time, such as pain medication. Once your doctor prescribes the medicine, consult your pharmacist and plan a refilling schedule to avoid running out. Make sure to also discard any expired medicine.