7 easy steps for medication management

Tracking medications with a pill box

Managing medications can be a challenge—especially if you have multiple prescriptions. Whatever your schedule is, it's important that you don't skip a dose. Missing even one dose per week can affect how well your medicine works. Plus, taking your medicines as directed may help you avoid costly medical issues down the road.

  1. Use medication as directed

    Take the dose prescribed by your doctor at the frequency and for the duration instructed. Taking more or less may be harmful to your health.

    Monitor your medicines

  2. Make it a habit

    Take your medication at the same time of day as you do other tasks, such as brushing your teeth or getting dressed. Put your medicines in an easy-to-find spot where you’ll be sure to see them, such as your kitchen counter or nightstand.

  3. Set a pill reminder

    Use an alarm or mobile phone app, post notes around your home or ask your pharmacist about refill reminders. For medicines you don’t take every day, add a sticker on your calendar for the days you’re supposed to take them.

  4. Enlist the help of someone

    Ask a family member, caregiver, neighbor or trusted friend you have regular contact with to help you stay on track with your medication schedule.

  5. Stay organized

    Use a pillbox to keep medication in one place and sorted by time of day and day of the week. A monthly pillbox may also help you remember to order a refill when you’re about to run out.

  6. Try generics or alternatives

    Ask your doctor about switching to a generic version of a brand-name prescription to help save money. Generics have the same active ingredients but may cost less than brand names.

    Alternatives may be available for your prescription. For example, if you’re having trouble swallowing your pills, ask about liquid versions of your medicine or smaller, coated pills.

  7. Always consult your doctor first before making any changes

    Do not stop taking your medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Let them know if you feel like your medication is not working or you are experiencing side effects.

This material is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor.

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