Taking your medications exactly as prescribed (improving medication adherence) is one of the most important things you can do to enhance your health and prevent medical complications.

For many Americans, medication adherence can be difficult to maintain. There are a number of barriers that we face every day, from social determinants of health (like medication cost, the ability to get your medication, etc.) to simply remembering when and how often to take your prescription.

As part of your pharmacy care team, we are dedicated to helping you manage your medications so you can live a healthy life. Here are 5 tips for improving medication adherence:

  1. Set a reminder: Forgetfulness is the leading cause of non-adherence. Set an alarm on your phone or use a weekly pill organizer to remember when to take your medication, and include a note on how to take your medication (on an empty stomach, with water, with food, etc.)
  2. Understand your medication: Understand how your medication works and why it is important to take it as prescribed. Ask your physician or pharmacist follow-up questions about anything you don’t understand. The more you know, the more likely you are to stay on track.
  3. Know what happens if you miss a dose: What happens when you don’t take your medication as prescribed? Sometimes it sets back your treatment or can cause adverse effects or symptoms. If you do miss a dose, reach out to your pharmacist! Follow up with them as soon as you remember to minimize negative effects and get back on track.
  4. Know your options: We understand that medication can be expensive, but there are things you can do to help reduce the cost to you. Call your health plan to make sure you are using a preferred pharmacy or to find out what medication alternatives are covered and available. If applicable, talk to your pharmacist about filling a 90-day supply, sometimes this can cost less than a monthly refill.
  5. Plan ahead for refills:Get into the habit of checking your bottle for the number of remaining refills. Most pharmacies will call your doctor for you when refills run out, but it’s always a good idea for you to know when your prescription is coming to an end.