I’ve been taking daily medications for 8 or 9 years now, and I still forget them. Why is it so hard to remember to take your medication? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do have some tried and true tips for you so that you’ll always remember your medication!
It’s been a few months since my last missed dose. That might not seem like a long time, but it’s the longest I’ve ever gone (except when I was in rehab). And I’ve gotta say, it feels nice not dealing with withdrawal symptoms every time I forgot!
This post is sponsored by DrugStars, an app that I use and trust. This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through my link, I may earn a tiny commission (at absolutely no extra cost to you)! Thanks for supporting this site!
Why is it Important to Remember Your Medication?
The answer to this will partially depend upon what your medications are. But here are a few reasons that you need to remember your meds!
Avoid Medication Withdrawals
I’ve been on a daily medication since I was about 15. In that time, I have tried a plethora of different antidepressants. With each one, the doctor will tell you not to discontinue use without their supervision. Wanna know why?
Antidepressant Discontinuation Sydrome. AKA, withdrawals.
These suckers are a bitch. I’ve gone through withdrawals from various street drugs and I can tell you that the symptoms are pretty similar. Here’s a timeline of my antidepressant withdrawals.
It generally takes me a couple days to really notice it, but that’s because I’m a bit oblivious.Usually within the first two days, I start to get shaky. I feel sort of… off. But, I ignore it and continue on.
By day three or four of not taking my meds, I am completely miserable. I’m shaky, irritable, tired, and feel like crap. I remember when I was 17, I missed school a few times because I just felt awful. It would always take me a while to realize I’d forgotten my medication for a few days.
Antidepressant withdrawals are real. Remember your medication and avoid this altogether!
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Forgetting Your Medication Means Return of Symptoms
We’re all taking our meds for a reason, right? It isn’t just for fun. Our doctors prescribed these medications, and each one came with a list of instructions. I can promise you that on that list, it says, “Take as directed“.
If you want to keep your depression at bay, you need to keep taking your antidepressants. Even if you feel better. You’re feeling better because of them, not despite them.
If you’re taking a mood stabilizer, you can ask my husband how fun I am to be around when I come off mine. Yikes. You’ll start being more irritable, you might notice severe mood swings. And then you realize it’s been a few days since you took your meds.
You’ve Reached a “Steady State” and May Ruin That
Here’s a little science lesson:
Every medicine has a half-life, which is just the time it takes for the body to eliminate half of the drug dose. When you take a medication every day, you eventually reach a “steady state”. This means that your body is absorbing and excreting your medication at an equal pace.
But then, you miss a dose (or two). And that throws everything off. That nice equilibrium you’ve reached is gone.
You then have to build back up to that steady state, otherwise, symptoms return.
You May Experience Side Effects Once You Take it Again
Some medications will give you unsavory side effects that seem to only occur as your body tries to reach its steady state. This means that by missing a dose or two, you’ll have to experience those side effects all over again.
Not exactly my idea of a good time.
So, how can you prevent all this and always remember your medication? Try these tips.
How I Remember My Meds
I’ve been taking my medication religiously now for a few months and it is amazing! Avoiding those withdrawal symptoms, pesky side effects, and not relapsing into depression is so nice. Here are some things I do to remember my medication.
Take Your Medication with a Meal
I take my meds with breakfast. I have one or two that suggest not taking them on an empty stomach, so this works for me. About halfway through my breakfast, I’ll take my meds.
If you skip breakfast (shame on you, it’s the most important meal!) then you could do this with your morning snack or lunch. Obviously, this depends on the type of medication, as some need to be taken in the morning.
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Find a Habit to Piggyback Off Of
What’s something you already do every morning? Brush your teeth? Put on deodorant? Make coffee?
Fill up your medication container, and keep it next to your thing. And don’t put it off and think, Okay, I see it, I’ll just do this other thing first and then I’ll take my meds.
That was a problem I ran into often. Oops. Take them religiously whenever you do your thing.
Set a Reminder with DrugStars
First of all, yes, you can set a reminder to take your meds on DrugStars. Everything is fairly customizable, so you can set specific times for specific medications. This is super helpful if you have to take medications throughout the day or at certain times. For me, I have a reminder set for 10 o’clock, just in case I forget, or forget to log that I’ve taken my meds. I just set one reminder since I only take pills in the morning.
But DrugStars also gives to charity. How it works is for each medication you take, you earn a star. And when you get to 50 stars, you can donate them to charity. They have a ton of causes you can choose from, too. You are literally taking your medicine, and they give to charity as a reward. How cool is that?
I’ve already donated to mental health and postpartum mental health. But they also have organizations that help with cancer, diabetes, headache disorders, digestive disorders, asthma and allergies, rheumatic diseases, heart diseases, stroke, kidney diseases, liver diseases, and skin diseases. That is a lot to choose from.
Chances are that if you’re taking daily medication, one of those causes impacts your life. Why not donate your stars to an organization that is researching new advances in a disease that you personally suffer from?
You can even earn extra stars for answering a few questions about your medication. I did this and it was super easy to do. All the questions were straightforward and just looking for my input on how my medication is performing for me. Super easy! The interface is very basic and easy to use.
If you’re interested, check out DrugStars (did I mention it’s FREE?!). If you sign up through my link, you get ten bonus stars to start with!
And be sure to grab your freebies down below!
How do you remember your medication? Does DrugStars sound like something that might help you?