Taking medicine may be new to you, and there may be a lot to remember.
For example, why you are taking it? What time should you take it? How often do you take it and how many pills do you take? It's very important to take medicine the right way - just as your doctor tells you.
If medicine isn't taken the right way, it may not work. It could also cause side effects that may be mild - or very harmful. Without knowing it, you could counteract one medicine by taking it with another. Not taken properly, medicine can also make you feel sick or dizzy.
Follow these guidelines and it should make it easier for you:
- Take it at the same time every day.
- Take it along with meals or other daily events, like brushing your teeth.
- Use special pill boxes that help you keep track, like the day-of-the-week divided ones you find at any drugstore.
- Ask the people who are close to you to help remind you.
- Keep a "medicine calendar" near your medicine and note every time you take your dose.
- Put a sticker or reminder note on your medicine cabinet or refrigerator.
- Store your medicine the way your doctor or pharmacist tells you. Keep medicine in original containers or label new containers.
- Keep track of what pills you can and can't take together, including over-the-counter medicines.
- Always get your prescription filled on time so you don't run out.
- Try to see the same pharmacist each time.
- If you have any questions about your pills, make a note to remind yourself to ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Tell your doctor if you have any side effects.
- Don't take more of your medicine than the prescribed dose.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist before buying a new over-the-counter medicine, such as an antihistamine or "cold tablets," to be sure they won't interfere with your prescribed medicine.
- Always check with your doctor before you stop taking a medicine.
- Know the names and doses of what you are taking.
- Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
This site is provided by The George Washington University Hospital in coordination with The George Washington University Hospital Attending Physicians' Association.