Keeping track of Long Term Medicine Schedules


Whether you or your child or your parents is taking medicine for a chronic condition, it is essential to develop a plan to remember when to take your medicine each day. For many medicines, the timing is almost as important as the dose. If you are taking more than one medicine, keeping track of your medicines is even more critical. Here are some tips to help you find a plan to fits your needs, following your routine.


    • Determine the recommended times to take each of your medicines – in the mornings or evenings, with or without food or liquid, at the same time as other medicines or separately. If you take more than one medicine, write them down so that you can compare the recommendations more clearly.
    • Look at these recommended times to take your medicines in comparison with your normal daily routines. Some medicines require you to take them at the same times each day, exactly 12 hours apart, every other day, or using other specific instructions. Decide the times that work best considering both the medicines’ requirements and your typical daily schedule. Keep in mind what would be easiest to follow when schedules change during summers, holidays, daylight savings time or other times that bring change to your normal routines.
    • Create a functional schedule for taking your medicines using a computer record, notebook or dry erase board, for example. Remembering whether you’ve taken your medicines each and every day can become muddled with the repetition – did you take it today, or was that yesterday?
    • Mark a chart each time you take your prescribed dose. Keep this posted where you will clearly see it so that you can mark it every time you take your medicines. Include a section for daily notes to record any changes in dose, side effects or doctor recommendations. If you take any physical readings, like temperature, urine tests or blood pressure, have a place to record these.
    • Make use of technology. Set your clock or watch, PDA or other device to ring at the times you will need to take your medicines. Especially for doses to be taken more than once each day, this will help you know when a scheduled time has arrived without the need to constantly watch the clock.
    • Place your medicines in the same spot each day – next to the coffee pot, near your computer, by your alarm clock. Choose a spot you will more easily see the medicines and thus remember to take them. Follow the labeling so that medicines are refrigerated, room temperature or however they are meant to be kept. Always keep the medicines out of children’s reach.
Tips & Warnings
  • For younger children, allow them to help you remember their schedules by posting a cardboard clock showing the times they need to take their medicines. When the cardboard clock matches the real clock, they will know it is time. They can check their charts or place stickers in the right places when they have taken their daily doses.
  • If your doses change over time, be sure to mark this on your schedules so that you will have this information handy.
  • Be sure to follow all written instructions on your medicines' labels.
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