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Take Your Medicine: 5 Steps to Make Sure You Don't Miss a Dose

pill reminder

Did you remember to take your medication today? If the answer is no, you're not alone. People all over the country make the same mistake every single day. Research shows more than 50 percent of prescription medication users fail to take their medications when they are supposed to. And if you're taking more than one type of medication, it gets even harder to remember.

As people's days have gotten busier than ever, it's not surprising regular medication doses are forgotten. At the same time, traditional helpers such as pillboxes, calendars, alarms and plastic bags simply aren't effective reminders. They just seem to add more stress.

"The entire system puts so much burden on the individual," says TJ Parker, co-founder of PillPack, a full-service, online pharmacy. "They're not only stressed about their condition but are also keeping track of multiple refills, calling their doctors, coordinating with their insurance companies, constantly having to remember to take their pills - it's a lot for anyone to have to manage. And then their chronic condition isn't just a life hurdle, it's all-consuming."

Nothing is more important than your health and that means you can't afford to miss a dose. To help you overcome your lapses and stick to the schedule, here are five tips to make your medication an effective, not forgotten, part of your day.

1. Have your medication delivered. Eliminate the weekly or bi-weekly trips to the pharmacy and have your medications shipped directly to you, even while you travel. There are many online, mail-order and local pharmacies that offer delivery service. Make sure to choose a pharmacy that offers free delivery and will overnight your medications when needed.

2. Pre-sort your medications. Organize your medications by the date and time you take them. Your pharmacy can do this for you with individual dose packets. Presorting your medications will make it easier to establish a dependable schedule and get you in the habit of taking your medications on time.

3. Make sure you don't run out of your medication. To avoid missing a dose, you can keep track of your medications yourself or you can turn to a pharmacy for help. Some pharmacies, like PillPack, will contact your prescriber eight weeks before your last refill and take the necessary steps to get your new prescription in place, including working with your doctor and insurance company to obtain authorization so you have everything you need.

4. Set pill reminder alarms on your phone. By having an alarm reminder, you'll remember when to take your pills. If you have a smartphone, an even better option is to download a medication reminder app for your phone that synchronizes with your medications and keeps track of the meds you've taken and the meds you've forgotten.

5. Utilize your pharmacist. Your pharmacist is your most knowledgeable resource when it comes to understanding your medication. They understand not only how your medication works, but how it will interact with other medications or anything else you may consume, such as alcohol. If you have a question about your medication your pharmacist is available to help, especially with many pharmacy services being available 24/7.

To learn more about making your medication easier to manage and how PillPack, a full-service, pharmacy focused on simplifying medication management, can help you, visit