Taking your medication on time, every time

a woman at home with her medications

When your doctor prescribes you a medication, it’s important to follow the instructions as closely as possible. Taking the right amount of medication on schedule is part of your ongoing care.  

However, there are many common reasons why you might have trouble sticking to your dosing schedule.  

Reason #1: Forgetting to take your medication on time.  

This can be especially hard if you’re taking multiple medications with different dosing schedules. 

Solution: Make taking your medication part of your routine.  

Connect taking your medication to daily activities such as meals or going to sleep. For example, you might set your medications near the breakfast table to remind you to take them after your breakfast, or keep a pill organizer that sorts your meds by day next to your bed. 

You can also set alarms using your clock, cell phone or the CenterWell Pharmacy® mobile app. Our app lets you set up personal medication reminders to stay on track with your meds (not available in Spanish).  

Reason #2: Not knowing how or when to take your medication.  

Understanding the instructions included with your prescription is important to make sure you take the correct amount at the right time. 

Solution: Check the instructions included with your medication.  

These should be printed on the prescription label or included in the medication’s packaging. If you’re having trouble understanding the instructions, call your prescriber’s office for help. 

Reason #3: Not believing your medication is effective or still necessary.  

It’s easy to think you can stop taking your medication if its effects aren’t noticeable or you’re feeling better. 

Solution: Always talk with your prescriber before stopping your medication.  

Many medications don’t have a noticeable effect when you take them, but they’re still important to take. For example, if you’re prescribed antibiotics, you should make sure to finish out the prescription—even if you feel better. Stopping early could leave germs alive that might reinfect you and become harder to treat. ¹ 

You should also talk to your prescriber if your medication comes with side effects that are too difficult to manage. Your prescriber may be able to prescribe you a different medication or lower dose that can lessen the side effects. Lifestyle or dietary changes may also help. ²

Reason #4: Having trouble paying for your medication.  

The cost of medications can be hard to fit into your budget. 

Solution: Talk to your prescriber about switching to a generic version.  

Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients as brand-name medications, but can cost up to 85% less.³ You can also see whether you qualify for drug assistance programs in your state. 

Reason #5: Running out of your medication.  

Forgetting to refill early enough could leave you out of medication when you need it. 

Solution: Try home delivery.  

When you fill prescriptions with CenterWell Pharmacy, you can get a 90-day supply of your medications shipped right to your home. You’ll save a trip to the store and be able to manage all your medications in 1 place. 

You can even set prescriptions to auto refill so you always have the medication you need. 

We’re here to help 

If you have questions about when or how to take your medication, talk to your prescriber. If you still have questions after speaking with them, you can also reach out to CenterWell Pharmacy! We’re available 800-379-0092 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Eastern time. 

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you. 


  1. 5 Medication Safety Tips for Older Adults,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, last accessed May 2, 2024.  
  2. Finding and Learning about Side Effects (adverse reactions),” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, last accessed May 2, 2024. 
  3. Malini Ghoshal, “Generic vs. Brand-name Drugs: Is There a Difference?” Healthline, last accessed May 2, 2024. 

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