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Medicine > Understanding Your Prescriptions

Track—and Stick With—Your Medication Plan

In addition to recommending lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, your health care provider may prescribe medicine to help you reach your goals. Make a list to keep track of important details about the medicines you are currently taking (including why you take them). Be sure to also keep track of any over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements that you’re taking. Store the list in your wallet, purse, cell phone, or iPad so you can update it whenever your medications change, and consider using the same pharmacist every time. Bring the list with you to each health care visit, and share a copy with your pharmacist and caregiver as necessary.

If needed, post a copy of your medicine list in a visible place like your medicine cabinet to help remind you to take your medications.

Tips for remembering to take medicines

Timing

  • Take your medicines at the same time(s) each day
  • Associate it with something else you do around the same time(s)
  • Remember to refill your prescriptions. Place a reminder note on your calendar a week before the medicine is due to run out

Get some support

  • If you’ve been missing a lot of doses, ask your doctor for ideas that may help you remember
  • Ask friends or family to help remind you. You can remind each other

Helpful tools

  • Keep a calendar or chart to write down when you take your medicines
  • Put a reminder note on your medicine cabinet or in your wallet
  • Set up electronic reminders

Bring all of your medicines, in their original containers, to every health care visit. If that’s not an option, make sure you write down all medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking. Don’t forget to include allergies to any medications that you may have.