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Taking medications regularly increases how effective they are at doing what they're supposed to.
Why is it important to take my medications regularly?
Medications should be regularly taken to ensure that an effective amount of the drug is always in your body. When medications are not regularly taken, the levels of the drug in your blood become too low, therefore making the medication less effective or even ineffective. Failure in taking your medications regularly results in decreased quality of life and increased visits to the clinic and/or hospital.
What can I do to make sure I take my medications at the same time every day?
Remembering to take your medications at the same time every day can be difficult but, there are things you can do to help you remember:
Set an alarm on your phone
Pair medications with something you do every day. For example, put your medications next to your toothbrush so you remember to take them when you brush your teeth in the morning or, if you drink coffee every morning, put your medications next to the coffee pot.
If you have multiple medications, put your medications in a weekly pill box to avoid the hassle of carrying around multiple medication bottles.
Enroll in a pharmacy automatic refill program if you often find yourself going a few days without medication between refills.
Put reminder notes/sticky-notes in places that are easily visible (e.g., bathroom mirror or refrigerator)
Some pharmacies provide reminder tops (caps with reminder alarms), ask your local pharmacy if that is something they can provide.
Download medication reminder and tracker apps such as MediSafe, Round Health, and Mango Health to manage your medications
What should I do if I miss a dose?
The concern regarding missing a dose of medication is that depending on the medication, withdrawal-type symptoms may begin to present, or you may experience a return of symptoms. Typically, if you miss a dose by an hour or two, it is generally not going to be a huge issue although you should review with your provider exactly how best to handle missed doses. Please note that if you miss a dose, never double up on your next dose as it could cause further negative effects and/or be harmful to your wellbeing.