- 7 Tips for Managing Your Medications
7 Tips for Managing Your Medications
What's the best way to remember to take your medications? Learn top tips from Justin Bioc, one of our clinical pharmacists.
By Justin Bioc, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, RPh, Clinical Pharmacist at Devoted Health
Taking your daily medications is one of the easiest, most effective ways to stay healthy and live longer. By keeping your chronic conditions under control, you can avoid hospital visits and have more time to do the things you enjoy most.
But remembering to take your medications isn’t always easy. We can help. Here are my top 7 tips for managing your medications.
- Ask for What You Need
Many medications come in different forms, like liquids, capsules, and tablets. If you have trouble with the form you currently take — like maybe you find it hard to swallow pills — you’re less likely to take your medication. If that’s the case, talk to your pharmacist about getting a form that’s easier for you.
- Try a Pillbox or Journal
You might find that storing your pills in a pillbox or keeping a running journal of when you last took your medications is all you need. It’s low tech, low cost, and often gets the job done.
- Get Smart with Technology
If low tech hasn’t been the answer for you, try an app for your phone, such as Medisafe and Dosecast. There are tons of apps out there, so don’t be afraid to try a few and see which one works best for you. Also check out MedMinder, a company that will put your medication in an electronic pillbox that reminds you when to take your medication. Their special box also comes with Lifeline! It’s a great solution that’s free-of-charge.
- Build a Routine
Take your medication at the same time every day so it becomes a habit. Let’s say you take your medications first thing in the morning. Put a cup of water and your medicine by your bed before you go to sleep. Even better, build it into something you already do. So maybe put your medicine on the table where you have breakfast, whatever will give you that visual reminder to take it first thing in the morning.
- Let Your Pharmacy Do the Work
Ok, so you’ve got your pillbox or your snazzy new app (or both!). You’ve made taking your medication a regular part of your routine. And it all goes great until you run out of medicine. Let’s talk auto-refills, a service offered by many pharmacies, where they let you know you’re about to run out of medicine. I’m a big fan of auto-refills because the pharmacy does the work for you. You can also try a high-service pharmacy, such as ExactCare, PillPack, or SimpleMeds. They put your medications in convenient packets with labels that tell you when to take them.
- Get Your Refills Delivered
Make refills even easier by getting them delivered to your door. At Devoted Health, we offer mail-order service though CVS Caremark. Mail order works best for your maintenance drugs, like cholesterol medications, because the pharmacy works with you to get refills before you run out. It might also save you money on copays. Learn more about mail order.
- Talk to Your Pharmacist
If you’re not sure what tool or service to use, your pharmacist can help. They’ll look at the medications you need, ask some questions about what might work best for you, and make some suggestions.
This article is for general reference only (learn more). Always talk to your doctor or other health professional for medical advice.