Keeping Track of Medications

Keeping Track of Medications | Dr. Ali Ghahary

For some people, medications are a daily necessity to help stabilize many health conditions. For example, individuals with asthma, COPD, or other respiratory-related conditions often require the use of an inhaler or bronchodilator, while individuals who suffer from thyroid disorders and heart problems also require daily medication. Depending on the type of health condition (or conditions) you’re dealing with, keeping track of medication can sometimes be difficult.

Below are a few different tips that Dr. Ali Ghahary has put together to help you keep you organized.

1. Make a List
If you’re someone who has to take several types of medications throughout the day, it’s not uncommon to forget – especially if you’re just starting a new medication regimen. The easiest way to keep track of your medications is by making a list and sticking it somewhere that you’ll be able to see it each day. As a lot of medications are taken early in the morning or before bed, the fridge can be a perfect place to keep that list.

2. Set Reminders and Choose a Time
In addition to making a list, it’s a good idea to set reminders for your medications with an alarm clock (either one you’ve purchased from a store or by using the alarm feature on your mobile device.) Sticky notes can also serve as a good reminder and can be placed around different areas of your home or office. It’s also important to make sure you take your medications at or around the same time each day. Having a set routine like this makes it much easier to remember when you take your medications than if you didn’t have a routine.

3. Use a Pill Box
If you’re someone who takes more than one medication each day, organizing them in a pill box can be helpful. You can find pill boxes at any local pharmacy, and they often come separated by days of the week, as well as AM/PM. You may not be able to store certain medications in a pill box – for example, if you are on a liquid form of medication, or if a pill can easily disintegrate or spoil. The label of your medication or instruction pamphlet they come with will usually tell you whether or not this is the case.

4. Smartphone Apps
Most smartphones these days come with a wide range of applications to choose from – including health and medicine apps. If you’re someone who’s on the go a lot or simply doesn’t like the idea of writing out a list, your mobile phone is the next best thing. Some apps will not only allow you to list each medication that you are taking, but also allow you to set reminders for when you need to take them, and even reminders for when you need to get your medications refilled. There are hundreds of apps to choose from, it’s just a matter of finding one you like.

5. Keep an Extra Dose With You
As many medications are required to be taken at a specific time, you may find, on occasion, that you might actually miss a dose. While it’s generally not harmful if you do happen to miss a dose of medication, some medications are required to be taken every day to avoid any unnecessary health complications, so if you think you’re not going to be home or able to take your medication when you normally do, it’s always a good idea to have an extra dose of your medication on you just in case. This way you’ll never miss a dose.