How To Remember To Take Your Medications {Medication Reminder}

How to remember to take your medications on time

As a teenager and in my early 20’s I was the type of person who would take 13 days to finish a 10-day antibiotic regimen. I just couldn’t get in the habit of remembering medications so I’d always miss a few.

When I had my first epileptic seizure at age 23, and a second two days later and was told I now had epilepsy and would require seizure medication to keep myself from having more seizures? I knew that I had to find a way to get good at remembering my medications, and fast.

5 medication reminder tools. How to remember to take your medication on time.

Medication Reminder Tools

  1. A pill organizer. While this isn’t exactly a medication reminder, it is a great way to check if you have missed a dose. The next time you find yourself thinking “Did I take my pills this morning?” you’ll be able to check your pill organizer and see if the slot is filled or not. Of course, it is vitally important that you continue to refill your pill organizer on time so that you can use it to verify. My medications are twice a day so I sought out an organzier with an AM row and a PM row.
  2. Use your phone alarm. If you keep your cell phone on you and keep it charged, setting an alarm to go off daily at the time(s) of day when you should be taking your medications will be a great medication reminder. Many who have AM and PM meds will try to remember to do it on wake-up and right before bed. I prefer ot set a specific time of day (I do 10am and 10pm) so that I don’t go too long between doses if I stay up really late some weekend and sleep in really late the next day. Yes, this occasionally means that I am asleep and have to wake up to take my pills but I’d rather that then going too long between doses.
  3. Google Keep. This app is essentially a to-do list where you can schedule tasks at set intervals. You can create a medications list and add it for the frequency required for your meds (For example, am and pm daily). Once you take your meds you can mark them as done in Google Keep as a way of keeping track of the fact that they were taken.
  4. Keep a spare. On rare occasion I have had my pill reminder alarm go off when I’m not at home and therefore don’t have meds. So even though I know I need to take my pills, I can’t! To avoid that conundrum, keep a spare dose of your medication in your purse, glove box or wallet. That way you’ll have a backup in case of emergency.
  5. Less frequent doses. My dad used to be on a single medication that had to be taken 4 times per day! He regularly missed doses because it was just too frequent to keep up with for him. If you are taking medication several times per day, ask your doctor if there are other options. For example, my seizure medication was originally prescribed to me twice a day. I got in the habit of taking mine twice a day so I have stuck with it, but my neurologist did let me know it is available in a once a day, extended release form if that is easier for me to remember. So if you are taking medication multiple times a day and struggling, check with your doctor to see if there are other options.

Using this combination of medication reminders, I have only missed two doses of medication in the last year. This is pretty incredible compared to how forgetful I used to be with my medications. If you are on vital medications, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about what to do if you are late on a dose. For example, I am supposed to take my seizure pills about once every 12 hours. Early on, I asked my neurologist what to do if I realized I missed my morning dose but I was only an hour shy of my PM dose. Do I double up or just wait until the next dose? What if I realize I missed it just 4 hours late? It will vary depending on your condition(s) and your medications but it’s important to know what to do in the event of being late.

Do you have any medicine reminder tools that you use? I’d love to hear what works for you!

Hi there! I am Emily Evert, the owner of Emily Reviews. I am 25 and live in a small town in Michigan with my boyfriend Ryan and our two pugs. I have a large family and I adore my nieces and nephews. I am a calorie counter who loves soda. I budget to save money so I can spend it on my dogs. I love reading memoirs, and learning about child development and psychology. I love watching The Game of Thrones, Teen Mom, Sister Wives and Veep. I like listening to Jason Isbell, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson and Blue October. I created Emily Reviews as a creative outlet to share my life and the products that I love with others.

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This post currently has 6 responses.

  • Sarah L

    I need to look into Google Keep. Haven’t tried that app. I’m good at remembering my meds. 3 before bed and one in the morning and one on Friday night.

  • Micheline

    Thank you for the tips, I always seem to miss some of mine, one pill each morning along with inhalers. Not a lot but when you leave the house without taking them it adds up.

  • katie

    I think keeping them on the counter and keeping track with my calendar. Every day I’ll move the to do list of taking my pills so I know if I’ve taken them or not.

  • Jeanine Carlson

    I’m going to check out Google Keep. I’ve been looking for something like that to help me remember daily tasks. I had a pill bottle with a reminder cap. It was the best. When I would take the pill, it would start timing how long since I had taken it, so I would know how long it had been. It worked great when I was taking pain meds and didn’t want to take the next dose too soon. I really need to go back to that store to get another pill bottle!

  • gloria patterson

    This is a lot of good information and people should use these apps. I only take a few things so I have set a schedule up for me. Now my mother takes a lot and forgets a lot of her pills.

  • Alice F

    Glad to see that I am not the only one that needs help in remembering to take medications. These are great tips!

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