Tips to Remember Lupus Medications
Remembering to take all of your medicines can be a challenge for anyone trying to balance a chronic condition and a busy life. For those with lupus, fatigue and brain fog may add extra obstacles. However, taking your medicines as prescribed can be one of the best ways to manage lupus flares and prevent hospital stays.1
If you are having trouble remembering when or how to take your lupus drugs, here are a few simple tips to make it easier.2,3
Learn about your medicines
Knowledge is power, so the more you know about each drug you take, the more likely you are to understand why you need to take it. This understanding can help motivate you to take your medicines and recognize side effects if those occur.
Use a pillbox
Pillboxes come in a variety of sizes and can help keep you organized, especially if you are taking multiple medicines. You can choose from inexpensive plastic boxes marked with each day of the week to electronic boxes that are programmed to automatically open at specific days and times. The more expensive electronic pillboxes can hold up to one month’s worth of medications.
Make technology your friend
You can set up daily emails or texts to remind yourself to take medicines at a certain time. These types of reminders can be especially helpful if you have a drug you only take once or twice a week. If you have a smartphone, there are many apps you can download that will alert you to take your medications. These apps also often include a handy list of all the medications and supplements you are taking so you do not have to rely on memory alone.
Create a self-care ritual
Make taking your meds part of something you enjoy doing every day, such as walking the dog, sitting down to drink hot tea and read, stretching, or knitting.
Combine it with a daily task
Many people combine taking their drugs with something else that must be done every day, such as brushing teeth, showering, or making coffee.
Create visual reminders
Make it easier to remember to take your drugs by putting them in a basket on the breakfast table or next to your toothbrush. Post little notes to yourself around the house, for instance by the back door so you don’t leave for school or work without taking your meds. If any of your medicines must stay cool, post a note on the refrigerator door, and send yourself a reminder text.
Sometimes people do not forget to take their medications as much as avoid taking them. If you are avoiding a certain drug because of its side effects or cost, talk with your doctor to see if an alternative is available.
If you are avoiding taking a drug because you are not sure you need it, talk with your doctor or nurse. Many lupus symptoms come and go and you may not need to take a drug as often or at all. On the other hand, this drug may be important to prevent long-term organ damage.
If you are concerned about how many medicines you are taking, talk with your doctor and pharmacist about ways to simplify your drug regimen.
Ask family and friends to help
Many people need help remembering to take their medications. You might ask a family member to call or text you each morning or night with a reminder. You and a friend can also make an agreement to call or text each other at a certain time to make sure you each took all of your medicines.
Remember, everyone is different and a tip that works for one person may not work for you. Try different combinations of pill reminders until you find what is most helpful to you.2,3