Pharmacists focused on positive patient outcomes. AppaGrapha is a blog by pharmacists and other healthcare professionals intended for patients who desire a fresh focus on health and wellness. AppaGrapha...Discovering Trends. Inspiring Wellness.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 10:00 am

How to Handle a Missed Dose of Medication

It happens more frequently than most of us realize, and yet, it never fails to cause us concern. I am referring to that “Oh, no…now what do I do?” moment when you realize that you’ve forgotten to take your medicine. 
How to Handle a Missed Dose of Medication
Missed doses of medication add up
(Photo credit: Kathleen Kvilhaug)
The best proactive advise I can give is the recommendation that patients keep a file of all information received with  the prescription fill. This information may come in handy more often than you expect.

The patient prescription information is where you will find instructions for a missed dose specific to your medication. It is important to update this file with the latest copy since these documents are continually updated as vital information is gleaned. If the patient prescription information is not available, you can call your pharmacist. The pharmacist has access to your medication profile and can give you precise instructions to get you back on schedule. 

Should none of these resources be available, the general guideline is to take the missed dose as soon as it is remembered, unless it is nearly time for the next dose.

Suggested late dosing guide:

   • Dosing every 8 hours, if more than 2 hours late = wait
   • Dosing every 12 hours, if more than 6 hours late = wait
   • Dosing every 24 hours, if more than 12 hours late = wait

If a dose is skipped, do not double up the next dose.

While an occasional delayed or missed dose of medication may not have serious consequences for some patients, for others it can result in decreased treatment efficacy. When medication doses are frequently delayed or missed the potential for treatment failure is a very real concern for prescribers and pharmacists.

If you find yourself struggling to remember to take medication on time, consider downloading AppaGrapha, a free medication reminder app for your phone or tablet. It is easy to use, discreet and innovative. AppaGrapha, Discovering trends. Inspiring wellness.