Prescribed medicines have to be taken at the stipulated time and with regularity. However, with so many things to keep track of, remembering to take your medication can become difficult. Here are some tips to help you remember to take your medicines on time.
The FDA has approved a device made by Proteus Digital Health that is integrated into pills to alert the doctors if patients have taken their medicines or not. The device is a silicon chip which is activated by the body itself. Post-ingestion, the chip interacts with digestive juices and creates a voltage, which can be read from a detector patch worn on the skin. The patch then sends a signal to the doctor to inform that the pill has been taken.
In order to get the maximum benefit from your medications, it is important that you follow the instructions of the doctor and take them at the right time. Research says that most people do not take their medicines as they should, or forget to take them on time.
Some are unable to understand the directions for taking medicines, some discontinue medicines on their own, while some others simply forget to take them on time. Some of the best ways to remember taking medicines are buying a pillbox, setting an alarm, or taking help from a family member or friend.
How to Remember to Take Your Medicines
Use a Medication Organizer
One way to remember to take medicines is to use a pillbox or dosette box to organize multiple medicines. First, count each day’s pills for the week and place them in the pillbox. The box contains individual slots or compartments which are labeled with the days of the week and different timings of the day. You can easily see which pill has to be taken for the day and at what time. You can also know if a dose has been missed. It is a trendy and portable case that can be carried anywhere .
There are also electronic pill boxes available with various alarms including chimes or beeps that alert you when to take your pills or order refills. In case you face problems in organizing your tablets, talk to your doctor.
Use reminders or alarms on alarm clocks, pagers, watches, or smartphones. Set them according to the timings of your medications and the sound or vibration will signal you at the right time. Choose an alarm tone that is different from your daily wake up alarm tone to avoid confusion. Also, see that they are easily audible. There are also various websites, free online calendars, and phone apps such as Dosecast and iPharmacy which allow you to set text, email, or phone message alerts.
Use a Calendar
Another way is using a calendar. Calendars are one of the most effective means for keeping medicine records. After taking your pills, check off that day’s date in the calendar. This can also help avoid confusion about whether or not you have taken your medicines already.
Keep the Medicines Visible
Always place your medicines such that they are visible and easy to access. For example, keep them near your toothbrush, on the refrigerator, on your tea or coffee maker, near your bathroom mirror, or TV tray. This will help you remember to take them on time. However, the medicines should be kept away from children or pets.
Try to fix a time so that you can take your pills at the same time everyday such as in the morning with breakfast, in the afternoon with lunch, or at night before or after dinner.
Take Help from a Family Member
Take a trusted friend’s, caregiver’s or family member’s help by telling them about your medication timings and asking them to remind you.
Combine with Daily Activities
Try to link taking medications to the activities you do everyday like brushing your teeth, having your meals, going to bed, etc.
List Them Out
Another way to remember taking medicines is to depend on a medication list or wall chart that tells you when each medicine should be taken. Simply take a sheet of paper and draw a table with four columns. Label them as morning, afternoon, evening, and nighttime. Then, under each column write down the medicine names you take, doses, and the timings of the day. Keep the list in a place that is open and visible. This list will help you to follow your daily medication routine.
Use Special Packaging
There are pharmacies which will package your medicines into blister-packs after you request for them. The packs are labeled with week days and timings to take the medications. Usually, there is a fee associated with this service, but it is a very good way of knowing if the pills for the day have been taken or forgotten.
Maintain a Diary or Checklist
Keep a diary or checklist to note down the timings of taking your medications. Keep it with you always. You may use your phone (notes or a similar application) to list out your medicines and the timings to take them. Or use sticky notes and put them up on a location where they are easily visible.
Use Pill Dispensers
There are electronic pill dispensers available that can remind you about your medication and also dispense the pills at specific times. Some pill dispensers can even alert the caregivers or family members if the medicines have been missed. This option is great when nobody is available near you or if you have difficulty remembering your medicines.
With these tips, we are sure, you will be able to remember to take your medicines on time.