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Top 10 tips for remembering diabetes medications

Remembering medications

Never miss a medication again. Check out these top 10 tips for remembering diabetes medications.

Many people with diabetes need to take multiple medications every day. Some of these may be for diabetes management, while others are for related conditions like high blood pressure. Remembering to take them at the right time each day can be tough. The tips in this article will help make it easier.

Tip 1: Have a schedule for your medication. You can ask your pharmacist to help you make a schedule or you can make your own schedule. The schedule will show when to take all the medications each day, and will show the best order to take them.  Give a copy of the schedule to a close family member or friend. This could save valuable time in a medical emergency, ensuring emergency staff are fully aware of the medications that are being taken.  To make a personalized medication reminder schedule use the Medication Monitor in the Diabetes Self-Management Tools area of this website.

Tip 2: Get the pharmacist’s advice about tools to help you follow the schedule. For example, ask the pharmacist if blister packs are available. Blister packs pre-package different daily medications together. This makes it easy to see all the medications that need to be taken, and the order in which they should be used.

Tip 3: Compartmentalized pill boxes can be a convenient option. Look in the drug store for boxes that hold each day’s supply in different compartments. This makes them function very much like blister packs, clearly showing the day’s medications and making it easy to see when a dose has been missed.

Tip 4: Keep all medications in a highly visible, frequently used part of the home. For example, they could be kept next to the phone, computer or TV or on the kitchen table. If there are children in the house, make sure that medications are kept well out of their reach.

Tip 5: Combine medication taking with other daily habits. For example, if a certain medication has to be taken early each day, keep it beside your toothbrush. Or if you enjoy a regular morning hot drink, keep the medication next to the coffee jar or tea bags.

Tip 6: Post sticky notes in places around the home that you visit at regular times. For example, if you use the microwave every evening, post a note on the microwave door as a reminder about the medication you need to take at that time.

Tip 7: Set alarms as reminders to take medications. For example, an alarm could be set on a clock or on a smart phone or your computer.

Tip 8: Get help from family or friends. Ask someone close to you to call each day to make sure you remembered your medications. This is especially valuable when you first begin a medication schedule.

Tip 9: Keep a medication chart in a place you look at often, such as on the fridge door at home or in a desk drawer in the workplace. Highlight or check each medication as it is taken, so you can quickly note if a dose is missed.  To set up your personal medication reminder chart, visit the Diabetes Self-Management Tools area of this website (you will need to log in first).

Tip 10: Know what to do if a medication dose is missed. Get instructions from the pharmacist ahead of time. Don’t double up on medication to make up for missed doses unless the pharmacist has specifically told you to do this.

For more information on following a medication schedule, check out our pharmacist expert’s blog Managing medication taking.



About Diabetes Care

Diabetes Care Community is the author of articles on a wide range of diabetes topics. All of these articles are written to a high standard of quality. They are reviewed for accuracy with health care professionals and, wherever possible, will adhere to Diabetes Canada's 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines. It is our wish that you find our articles helpful. We welcome your feedback and comments.

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