Don't Forget to Take Your Medications

Which factors affect whether you remember to take your meds?

Health Monitor Staff
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According to a study done at North Carolina State University, age and changes in routine are big factors. Younger adults, those between the ages of 18 and 20, did the best job of remembering to take their meds on days when they were busier than usual. On the other hand, adults 60 and over remembered best on less-hectic days.

Why is this so? Shevaun D. Neupert, PhD, assistant professor in the department of psychology at N.C. State University, suggests that the daily routines of younger adults are typically busier. But the same type of on-the-go behavior may be unusual for some older adults. Dr. Neupert suggests, "It's the departure from routine that creates a greater likelihood of not adhering to a med schedule."

Here are tips to help you remember to take your medication:

Create reminders
Set an alarm, separate your meds into the compartments of a pillbox organizer or keep a daily log of prescriptions‚ including drug names and dosages.

Plan ahead
If you have an especially hectic day ahead of you, take extra care to establish reminders. Make a habit of taking your pills at the same time every day.

Ask questions
The more you know about your medicine and how it should be taken, the more likely you are to take it as prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist as many questions as needed to fully understand how to take your meds. Two key questions are:

  • At what time of day should I take my meds?
  • Should I take my meds with food?
October 2010