What To Do If I Miss A Dose?
Prescribed medication has the power to heal, but the medicinal effects can diminish if patients miss a dose. Depending on the drug type and medical condition, missing a dose could cause almost no adverse reaction or could spell disaster. Even with a doctor’s guidance and medication labels, missing a dose is a common occurrence. Here’s what to do if a medication dose gets forgotten.
Ask a healthcare professional
Coming up with a plan for a missed dose can soothe patient worries and maintain medication adherence. Doctors are partly to blame for non-compliance issues when a plan isn’t actively recommended. Patients should ask a doctor or pharmacist to write down or indicate strategies of what to do when a dose is missed. But what happens when the doctor isn’t in?
How to handle a missed dose
When a dose is missed, the corrective course of action depends on the type of medication the patient is taking. Some medications may need to be taken as soon as the mistake is apparent. Other medications can be taken on the scheduled dose after the missed dose. Generally, patients can take a missed dose if the prescription has been missed for under two hours.
What to do when it’s been over two hours after a missed dose?
On rare occasions, patients may miss a dose by more than two hours. If a drug is taken more than 3 times a day, the pill can be skipped until the next dose. If the drug is taken once or twice a day, the dose can be taken if the next dose isn’t for another few hours. For insulin dosage, however, the missed dose rules are different.
Tips to remember taking your medicine
Regardless of drug type, there are effective methods to maintain a stable and efficient medication schedule. Patients can take medications at the same time every day to develop a routine. If possible, patients can take medications with a daily routine such as mealtime, although some medicines require an empty stomach.
Preventing a missed dose
Patients can benefit significantly by being overprepared. A medicine calendar broken down by the medication can help patients check-off when a dose was taken. A pill container can break down doses by day and time. When traveling, patients should bring extra doses just in case and keep medication in the carry-on bag to avoid losing medication in lost luggage.
Ask for help when all else fails
Even with the best laid-out plans, accidents can happen. Missing a dose doesn’t have to lead to serious consequences if handled promptly. Patients should immediately seek out a healthcare provider or pharmacist for additional questions about a missed dose for severe medical conditions.