Remembering to Take Your Medicine

So you’re brushing your teeth before sliding into bed when it suddenly hits you: You forgot to take your cholesterol drug today. Forgetfulness is one of the most common reasons people say they don’t take their medications. To avoid forgetting, use prompts like the following: 

  • Coordinate taking your medication with a daily activity. For instance, when you brush your teeth in the morning, you take your pill. When you eat dinner, you take your pill. 
  • Use alarms on clocks, watches, cell phones, and computers to remind you when to take your medication. You can even buy an electronic medicine organizer that beeps at a programmed time. You can find them in drugstores or online at 
  • Use pillboxes or other special medication holders to organize your medications by hour, day, and week. Then you can easily see if you’ve forgotten a dose. 
  • Keep your medication in an obvious place (for instance, on the bathroom counter) so that you see it first thing when you get up in the morning. If you need to take it with meals, keep it in plain site on the kitchen counter. 
  • Use a medication diary, available in drugstores or online at numerous health and medical Web sites. 
  • Put reminders around your house. Stick Post-it notes asking yourself if you’ve taken your medicine to your front door, purse, or keys.

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