Missing prescriptions can be costly and dangerous, so we put together a few medicine reminder tips to help you stay on top of your doses.
Although there aren’t any exact statistics on how many people forget to take their prescriptions, according to Consumer Reports, most studies show 45 to 55 percent of Americans fail to adhere to their daily medication regimen.
Take a look at the following medicine reminder tips to save yourself from the trouble of missing a dose.
Make it a part of your day
Incorporating your medication into your daily routine is an easy way to form good habits. If you take a walk every morning, make it a point to take your medication before you leave. Tying your medicine into your daily activities will eventually make it an automatic practice.
Use physical reminders
You’re likely to forget your medication if it’s tucked away in a closet or cabinet. If it’s safe to do so, keep your prescriptions visible and use a helpful container like a pill box to stay organized.
Pill boxes, available in all sizes and colors, are pill reminders for those who have trouble staying on top of their prescriptions. Invest in a box that organizes your pills for each day of the week. Some even split each day into morning and night for added organization.
A monthly medicine reminder calendar is another effective visual aid. Plot your daily prescriptions for the next month and mark off each day as you go. You could also use a whiteboard to map a schedule, complete with the name of each medication, when you need to take it and what it treats.
Set electronic reminders
Use your phone, tablet or computer to stay on schedule. This could be as simple as setting an alarm on your phone or laptop as a daily pill reminder.
Or, opt for a more sophisticated electronic tool, like one of the many free pill reminder apps available for smartphones. You can enter all of your prescription information and the app will keep track for you, sending you notifications when it’s time to take each medication.
Some of these apps include:
Mango Health Medicine Manager By Mango Health / For iOS & Android / Free
Mr. Pillster By Whisper Arts / For iOS & Android / Free
Round Health Medication Tracker By Circadian Design / For iOS / Free
Check out which app works best for you, then let your phone do the remembering for you.
Ask for help
If you’re still struggling to stick to your prescription plan, ask for help. Look to family and friends for assistance, and if your prescriptions are overwhelming, talk to your doctor about ways of simplifying your medication regimen and to learn what you should do if you miss a dose.
Know your stuff
Finally, learn all about your medications. The list can grow long, but you will create a stronger mental connection with your prescriptions if you know why you need them and what they treat.
One way to do this is to create a list, chart or spreadsheet of all of your prescriptions to serve as a pill reminder: include their names, uses, prescribed dosage, what time they should be taken, the number of refills remaining and side effects.
Understanding each medications use and possible side effects is essential for not only staying on track, but also for staying safe. Side effects are often dangerous in more ways than one. One of the most dangerous and least recognized is when we are behind the steering wheel.
Be road wise
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, prescription drugs are the most prevalent of all drugs found in drugged drivers involved in fatal crashes (46.5 percent), and the percentage has continually increased since 2005.
As the average number of prescriptions dispensed to Americans yearly goes up, it is more important than ever for drivers to check the potential risks of their medications. Whether you take daily blood pressure pills, antidepressants or are simply trying to remedy a passing flu, get informed before getting behind the wheel. Did you know that you could be charged with driving under the influence of certain legal medications in some states?
Medications proven in studies to increase the threat of being in a traffic crash include some antidepressants, shown to increase crash risk by up to 41 percent, and Diphenhydramine, an ingredient commonly found in over-the-counter cold and allergy medications. Diphenhydramine can severely impair the ability to follow at a safe distance and maintain speed and lane position; a single dose can have the same effect on driving as being above the legal blood alcohol limit.
Roadwise RX, a free tool developed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, allows drivers to quickly and easily learn how their prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs can impair their ability to drive safely. Along with side effects and driver warnings, it outlines potential interactions with other medications and foods.
If you are concerned about if your medicines side effects can lead to impaired driving, you can bring your confidential Roadwise Rx results to your doctor to optimize dosage and timing. Don’t try to self-regulate. Drowsiness, sudden pains, and other side effects are not always easily fought. Understand the possible dangers of your medicine before driving.
Get informed with AAA’s prescription tool, RoadwiseRX. You can also learn how you can cut costs on your prescriptions with AAA here.
Do you have any other medicine reminder tips that work for you? Tell us in the comments!