I’ve seen a surplus of cool ways to remember to take your meds lately — so I thought I’d round some up. Especially if you’re giving meds to your kids — or sharing the task with someone else, like your partner or another caregiver — then it can be really tricky to always remember if you’ve given the meds or not.
I always try to text my husband if we give something simple like Advil so we have the exact time — but I don’t do it 100% of the time. For example, I know we accidentally double-dosed at least one of my kids with antibiotics a few years ago — we’re still avoiding ‘cillins because of the rash it caused, but we don’t know if it was the doubled dose or a reaction to the meds that would have happened anyway. And yes, at the time we called Poison Control.
(Incidentally, if you’re giving ADHD medication to your kids I can’t recommend a medication log like this freeone at ADDitude enough — it can be tricky to find the right medication and dose for your child, and a log is very helpful to remember exactly which drug you tried, what dose, how your child responded, and how long you tried that dose/drug.)
Do you take meds yourself and have problems remembering if you took them or not? Do you give meds to your kids and have trouble remembering?
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My Memory Hack for Remembering to Take My Meds
One memory tip that I’ve used sometimes to remember to take my meds is this: I keep the pill bottle on the LEFT hand side of the sink, and after I take it I move it to the RIGHT hand side. I’d heard that you can imprint a physical habit like this by doing it 30+ times — even in a quick time period — so when I started with a new medicine, I practiced doing that. This has worked for me for a long time — but when the kids went back to school my morning system got a bit screwier, and I’ve found myself wondering on numerous days whether or not I took my meds. (Did I take them and just forget to put them on the correct side of the sink? Did I forget to “reset” the pill bottle to the left side the night before, and didn’t actually take them?)
I’ve never liked pill organizers because they take too much time to fill, and often don’t hold more than a single pill (plus, they’re usually not safe around kids).
That said, I’ve seen a number of newer, easier products addressing just this problem in more streamlined ways, so I ordered a few to check them out…
How to Remember to Take Your Meds: Pill Poppers
These Pill Poppers are one of the first things that arrived — it’s a three pack for under $10. I am giving these things as stocking stuffers this year; they’re so cool. You can adapt it to any pill bottle (or spray or liquid bottle) because it’s got something similar to a silicone rubber-band at top. (I have it on a typical brown drug bottle and it hasn’t interfered with the safety cap at all.) It’s tiny, easy to use, and super satisfying to “pop” the day in. The only trick, of course, is remembering to pop the correct day in…
(I could see these being difficult if, like my mother, you keep about 10 different medications in a tight space like a plastic basket, just because the pill poppers might get accidentally jostled/popped/unpopped when you add/remove different medications.)
The system also has an AM/PM pop button if you need to take the drug twice a day — but the next system might be more helpful. If you don’t like the bubble popper, this “take n slide” medication tracker sticker might be better — I didn’t buy it because it’s a bit more expensive (around $20 for 5) and is stuck on the side of the bottle. They say it’s reusable and can be unstuck easily, for what it’s worth.
How to Remember to Take AM/PM Meds: The Chart (Great for Multiple Caregivers!)
I got this visual medication reminder/tracker primarily because my son takes a few meds, and depending on who’s watching him and medicating him, I thought this one could be useful for a team. I also like that the chart clearly has AM/PM in different columns, and (as the sales page points out), if a family member notices that you haven’t taken it, they can remind you.
Admittedly, you could also just keep an index card near your meds with similar handwritten columns and just check them off — but where is the fun in that?
How to Remember to Take Your Meds: The Timer Cap
I think this is the ultimate solution — timer caps that display the last time the pill bottle was opened!! Brilliant!! So long as the battery works well, of course. You can get 2 for around $15.
Readers, what are your favorite tips and tricks to remember to take your meds? Have you tried any medication reminder products like these timer caps and so forth?
Stock photo via Stencil.
I have a dry-erase board (the sticker kind, so it does not fall off, love it!) and when I recently had complicated meds to remember for myself, I drew a chart for each med. It was way too much to remember otherwise.
Our very low effort strategy for short term med regimens is to draw a chart on the bottle with a Sharpie. Check off when dose is given. It also helps me count how many days I need to dose for.