People living with epilepsy often worry about how their condition will affect their day-to-day lives, but they can absolutely lead successful, fulfilling lives with proper treatment. This goes to show that epilepsy can be effectively managed with appropriate care and medication. However, skipping doses or taking prescribed medicines irregularly can severely reduce the impact of the drug on your body, leading to breakthrough seizures.
Forgetting to take your medication does not occur on purpose. Some people may be taking multiple medications at various times during the day while others may simply forget amid routine activities. All of these factors can get in the way of staying in control of your medication schedule. To make it easier for you to remember your epilepsy medication, here are a few tips you can use.
Organize a proper medicine routine
Taking medications on time becomes easier when you have a strict routine in place.
1. Know your medicines: Make a list of the medications prescribed and learn their names, so you can recognize if the pharmacy makes any errors when filling the prescription. Understand what the medicine is intended to treat and its potential side effects so you can determine whether a medication is working appropriately. Stay informed about the medicine doses and how frequently you need to take them to avoid the possibility of under-or over- dosing. Keeping these details in mind helps you remember to take your medication appropriately.
2. Keep your doctor informed: If there are issues with your medication adherence, have a discussion about it with your doctor. In this way, your medical professional can work around finding a simpler medication routine that is convenient for you. Based on this routine, they can accordingly specify the right dose and when you need to take it. Make sure you also consult your doctor on how to handle missed medication so you are aware of what can be done in case you forget to take a dose of medicine.
3. Make taking medicines simple: Establish a routine by taking your meds after having a meal, or when getting ready for bed. Getting into the habit of taking your doses when it coincides with these regular activities makes it simple to remember your medication.
Cues and tools for taking medication on time
There are times when you end up forgetting to take your medication even with the most well-organized routine. In this case, using certain cues or tools helps you stay on track with your medication schedule.
Pillboxes usually come with seven compartments, for every day of the week. Arranging the pills you need to take beforehand in these compartments makes it easy to remember how many tablets you need to take. If you tend to forget, all you have to do is examine the pillbox. If the compartment is empty, you will know that you are on track with your medication routine. Keeping the pillbox in plain sight makes it easy to spot and serves as a good reminder for taking your dose of medication on time.
Calendars and sticky notes
Use a calendar or draw a table with a list of your medicines along with a checkbox for the morning, evening, and afternoon. You can use the table to check off the days and times you take your medicine. Alternatively, place sticky notes around prominent places in your home, such as bathroom cabinets or on the top of your microwave, to easily spot cues that keep you on schedule. Try placing a sticky note on the fridge which reminds you to take your dose after breakfast.
Alarms and smartphones
Some individuals prefer a watch with an alarm that beeps when their meds are due. Alternatively, using your smartphone also works well as you can set a date, time, and message to remember a task. There are apps available for download on your smartphone, including the Inspyre™ by SmartMonitor (compatible with Apple watches and Samsung watches). In this way, you can set reminders and never miss out on your doses of medication.
When staying with your caregivers, remember to keep a few doses of medication at their residence so you continue taking your meds on time even when away from your home. If running out of medicines at home is a problem, keep a one-week emergency supply handy so that this shortage does not prevent you from taking your medicines when due. This leaves you with enough time to reorder your medicine from the pharmacy.
Keeping these careful and controlled adjustments in mind make it stress-free for you to take your medications from time to time. Got any handy tips that you follow? Let us know in the comments below.
You may also like to read our blog posts on seizure alert dogs, what not to say to someone with epilepsy and COVID care for kids with epilepsy