Remembering to take your medications can be difficult, but it’s important not to miss a dose. Here's how to stay on top of your RA meds.
Did I take my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) medication today?
If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, you’re not alone. A recent study from North Carolina State University found that changes in our daily routines affect whether we remember to take meds. Younger adults (between ages 18 and 20) did the best job of remembering to take their meds on days they were busier than usual, according to the study. On the other hand, older adults (60 years and over) remembered best on less-hectic days.
Why is this so? Shevaun D. Neupert, PhD, assistant professor in the department of psychology at North Carolina 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.”
Use these tips to help you remember to take your rheumatoid arthritis meds:
Establish 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. If you have an especially hectic day ahead of you, take extra care to use 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 healthcare provider or pharmacist as many questions as needed to fully understand how to take your meds. Some ideas:
• At what time of day should I take my RA meds?
• Should I take my meds with food?
• If I take several medications each day, what’s the best way to keep track?