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Remembering your medications

Remembering Your Medications

As a person with asthma who also has ADHD, I am probably the best/worst person to give advice about how to take your medication (after all, I’m writing this after not taking my ADHD meds at noon!), While it’s usually pretty easy to remember to take your rescue inhaler when you’re having issues breathing, it might not be as easy to remember to take your medications in the morning, at noon, or at bedtime if you’re feeling good.
The most important thing to remember though is that taking your medication as prescribed is what is helping you to feel your best—some medications, a missed dose is easily noticed (the quicker acting bronchodilator medications, for example), but others, like Singulair or an inhaled corticosteroid, might take longer for the effect they’ve had on your body to wear off. So, even if you don’t feel like you need them, it’s important to take them. While timing might not be as important for these kinds of meds, as it might be with a long-acting bronchodilator, keeping it routine will help you remember to take your medicine as prescribed.

For me, a lot of the time my lungs will remind me if I haven’t taken my inhalers. However, I want to avoid feeling that way in the first place! So, here are some things I’ve done that help me remember to take my medications:

  • Pair it up. If you take a twice-daily inhaler, pair it up with another activity you do twice a day. Do you have a morning snack at 10 AM and a bedtime snack at 10 PM? Do you brush your teeth twice a day? (I hope so!) Pair it up to make it easier to remember
  • Set alarms. I imperfectly use alarms in various ways. While there are tons of apps that will help remind you to take your meds, I find for me that these are a pain to set up (I mean, I have 8 different prescriptions, and I alter the schedules with the days of the week sometimes!) and I ignore the alerts. For me, my Fitbit Charge HR (and prior to this, the Fitbit One) has silent alarms that I use to remind me to take certain meds. Like I said… I did not take my ADHD meds today, because I ignored the 3 alarms I set. I wish I were joking.)
  • Leave your meds where you can see them. Yeah, they’re not the prettiest if you’ve got guests around so throw ‘em in a nice basket with and put lid or something on when company comes over, but if you can see your meds, you’ll take them. (Probably.)
  • Keep extras different places. If you constantly remember to take your morning inhaler when you’ve already gone off to work, it might be worthwhile to keep an extra in your laptop bag or desk drawer. If you always forget your rescue inhaler when you’re going to the gym, keep one in your gym bag. Take it out before your workout, and return it after. You get it: store it where you need it!

What are your tips for remembering your medications? Leave them in the comments.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • krishwaecosse
    4 months ago

    When it comes to taking my inhaler I have it linked in my head with meal times. I take my preventer 4 times a day so breakfast, lunch, tea time and bed time. Other meds I only take in the morning so I have them with my makeup for when I’m putting my face on x that’s how I remember

  • Kerri MacKay moderator author
    4 months ago

    That’s a great trick, too!

    The fortunate thing about inhalers is that there’s no worries about spacing them out from meals–I remember having an antibiotic once that I had to take 4 times a day. I would have used this trick, too, except I had to wait till 2 hours after meals to take them–how inconvenient!

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