Remembering to take your prescription medications can be a challenge, especially when you take more than one. You may need to take some pills multiple times a day, some at different times of the day. Some pills must be taken with food, some without. It is important to take your medications the right way so they can be metabolized and absorbed in your body to do their job.
According to a 2013 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Americans take a whole lot of medications. More than 68 percent of Americans take at least one prescription per year while as many as 21 percent took as many as five. It is no wonder that it has become big business for companies to market products to help you organize and remind you to take your medications. Here are some simple and inexpensive tips to help you on your way.
Alarms. People tend to respond well to audio triggers. You could set an alarm either with a traditional clock in your home or office. Smartphone alarms are also commonly used as reminders to take your pills. The trick is, of course, to be near your alarm when it goes off. If you are traveling or misplace your smartphone, you could be out of luck.
Pill boxes. Pill bottles can be tricky. If you have enough of them, sorting through your pills can be challenging. This is where pill boxes can come in handy to sort your medications. You can easily purchase one that best meets your needs and preferences. Many pill boxes allow you to sort medications not only by day but by time of day and even over the week. Some pill boxes even come with alarms attached to them. Set a day each week to set up your pill box and you will be less likely to miss a dose.
Smartphone apps. There are many smartphone apps available out there that can help. It is important to choose an app that is not only is easy to use but one that keeps your information secure. No app should ever ask you for personal information, like a social security number, and there should be a disclaimer that says your personal information will not be shared with third parties. Pill Reminder by Drugs.com, Medisafe Medication Reminder and Pill Organizer and RxRemindMe are popular free apps that you may consider. Pillboxie is also a favorite for a small one-time fee.
Old school tricks. Not everyone has a smartphone and not everyone likes to go high tech. You can get clever in how you remind yourself to take your pills
- Link your medications to things you do every day. Some people will put their medications next to their toothbrush. Some even use elastic bands to tie their meds to the toothbrush to make sure they do not forget.
- Link your medications to meals. Many people tend to eat meals at the same time every day. This can be the easiest reminder of all.
- Position your meds. Some people leave their meds in plain site in an area where they spend a lot of time. Some flip their med bottles upside down after they have taken their dose that day. This is not only a reminder that they took their medication that day but could be a visual queue to other people in the household to remind you to take your pills.
However you go about it, understand that your medications are prescribed to you for a reason. It is in your best interest to find a way to take your pills when you need to for your best health.
TapGenes Take Away: Do you sometimes forget to take your pills? These simple tips could prevent you from missing doses of your prescription medication. Keep yourself healthy.
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