Pharmacist Check-In: Writing It All Down

How can I remember to take my new medication every day and keep my cholesterol on track?

Are you sticking with your new drug regimen or have you been having trouble remembering to take your cholesterol-lowering medication every day? Here are some tips to help you keep track of your daily drug regimen and remember to take your new medication every day. Once it becomes part of your daily routine, it will be much easier to stay on track to lowering your cholesterol and preventing heart disease.

  • Set a time to take your medication every day so it becomes part of your daily routine.
    • With a certain meal if your medication should be taken with food
    • After you brush your teeth if your medicine should be taken in the morning
  • Create a medication calendar and mark it each day after you take your medication.
  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when it is time to take your medication.
  • Leave your medication, or a reminder note, next to something you use every day, such as a watch, cell phone or your house keys; but make sure to keep medication out of reach of children.
  • Use a pillbox marked with the days of the week; choose one day a week, such as Sunday, to refill the pillbox each week.
  • Ask a family member or friend to help remind you for a few weeks until it becomes part of your daily routine.

You may also want to create a chart or journal to keep track of not only your daily cholesterol-lowering medications, but the rest of your healthy lifestyle as well. Have fun with it, use bright colors, decorate it, personalize it, and before you know it eating healthy, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and remembering to take your cholesterol-lowering medications will become part of your daily routine; like brushing your teeth, something you do every day without having to think about it. Here are some ideas of what you may want to include in your chart or journal as you get started.

  • Cholesterol-lowering medications
  • Total cholesterol level
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol level
  • HDL (good) cholesterol level
  • Triglyceride level
  • Weight
  • Blood pressure

To help you get started on creating your own chart or journal, take a look at an example chart for tracking your cholesterol levels at PDR Health.

Tracking your progress can be a great motivator to take your cholesterol-lowering medications every day and keep up with your healthy lifestyle. You can even use it to help you remember to keep your follow-up appointments with your doctor. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), diaries and journals help keep you on track and give you a boost by following your progress. As an added bonus, journaling your progress helps your doctor follow and assess the progress you have made and makes you an active participant in your own health care.

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