Did you miss a dose of your medication - again?
It's happened to all of us. You're rushing out the door to catch a train, or getting ready for bed when you realize you've forgotten to take your medication.
For some people, forgetting a dose here and there isn't a big deal. But if you're taking medications for a chronic condition, missing doses can be dangerous - even life-threatening.
According to the World Health Organization, poor adherence to prescribed medications is responsible for approximately 50% of treatment failures and 25% of hospitalizations worldwide. In the United States alone, it's estimated that 125,000 deaths each year are due to non-adherence.
What is Medication Non-Adherence?
Medication non-adherence describes the situation where someone doesn't take their medications as prescribed by their doctor. This could mean not taking them at all, or only taking them sometimes. It could also mean not taking them in the right way - for example, skipping doses or not finishing a course of antibiotics.
Why do people miss doses?
There are many reasons why people might miss doses of their medication. Some people find it hard to remember to take their pills every day (or multiple times per day). Others may forget because they don't have access to their medications - for example, if they're travelling or away from home.
"Patients with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease often have complex regimens requiring multiple pills at different times throughout the day," says Dr. Sarah Samaan, cardiologist and author, "This can be tough for anyone to keep track of but especially challenging as we get older and our memory starts declining."
In short, it's easy for everyone to forget to take doses of medication. And missing doses can have health consequences.
If you're looking for tips and tricks to help you remember to take your medications, read on.
Tips and tricks to help not forget doses
1. Set a daily alarm on your phone
One simple way to help you remember your medication is by setting a daily alarm on your phone. This will remind you at the same time each day that it's time to take your pills.
2. Keep your medications in a visible spot
Another way to remind yourself is by keeping your medications in a visible spot - such as on the kitchen counter or next to your toothbrush. That way, you'll see them every day and be reminded that you need to take them.
3. Use a pill box
If you take several medications, ask your pharmacist to organize your medications in a pill box.
4. If you're travelling, pack your medications in carry-on luggage so you always have them with you.
5. Use an app or a connected device
How can apps and connected devices help?
There are many apps and devices available that can help you remember to take your medication. For example, there are apps that will send reminders to take pills and track whether or not doses have been taken. There are also "smart" pill bottles that connect to an app and remind the user when it's time to take their medication. And there are even wearable devices that track pill-taking behaviour and provide reminders.
Pillway is an app that can help patients with medication adherence. It provides reminders for taking medication, keeps track of medication consumption, and allows communication with a pharmacist or care team.
The Medisafe Medication Management app can help patients with medication adherence by providing reminders to take their medication, tracking their medication usage, and providing information on drug-to-drug interactions. There is also a setting to contact a caregiver in case of several omissions.
The MedHelper app will help you manage your care plan in the easiest way possible. Add or import your medications and set up reminders so you never miss a dose.
Dosecast is a helpful app for patients who need to stay on top of their medication schedules. The app allows users to set reminders, track their doses, and even view photos of their medications. This can be a useful tool for patients who need to take multiple medications or who have difficulty remembering to take their medications.
Take control of your medication
There are many ways to help you remember to take your medication, including setting a daily alarm, keeping your medications in a visible spot, or using a pill box.
You can also use an app or connected device to help you track your medication usage and remind you when it's time to take your pills. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that you never miss a dose of your medication again.
If you want more recommendations on apps for medication adherence and to better manage treatment for certain conditions, feel free to visit our AppGuide microsite on medication management.
Your health care professional can help you choose
Feeling confident is important. Get all the essential information about health apps by talking to your healthcare professional.
AppGuide provides reliable information about mobile health apps that allows patients and healthcare professionals to make informed, shared decisions about using a health app to track health status or act on your priority health goals.