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How Can I Remember to Take My Medicine?

The only way to get well is to take your medicine exactly as your doctor or nurse tells you. This will not be easy! You will be taking your medicine for a long time (6 months or longer), so you should get into a routine. Here are some ways to remember to take your medicine:

  • Participate in the directly observed therapy (DOT) program at your health department.
  • Take your pills at the same time every day -- for example, you can take them before eating breakfast, during a coffee break, or after brushing your teeth.
  • Ask a family member or a friend to remind you to take your pills.
  • Mark off each day on a calendar as your take your medicine.
  • Put your pills in a weekly pill dispenser. Keep it by your bed or in your purse or pocket.
    NOTE: Remember to keep all medicine out of reach of children.
  • If you forget to take your pills one day, skip that dose and take the next scheduled dose. Tell your doctor or nurse that you missed a dose. You may also call your doctor or nurse for instructions.

The best way to remember to take your medicine is to get directly observed therapy (DOT).DOT is the standard of care. If you get DOT, you will meet with a health care worker every day or several times a week. You will meet at a place you both agree on. This can be the TB clinic, your home or work, or any other convenient location. You will take your medicine at this place.

DOT helps in several ways. The health care worker can help you remember to take your medicine and complete your treatment. This means you will get well as soon as possible. With DOT, you may need to take medicine only 2 or 3 times each week instead of every day. The health care worker will make sure that the medicine is working as it should. This person will also watch for side effects and answer questions you have about TB.

Even if you are not getting DOT, you must be checked at different times to make sure everything is going well. You should see your doctor or nurse regularly while you are taking your medicine. This will continue until you are cured.