I forgot to take my medicine, what should I do?| Browns Myth Buster Guide
Forgotten to take your medication? Missed a dose? Managing medicines can be tricky. If you occasionally forget or are late taking your medicines our guide might be helpful to you. If you are finding that you are regularly or frequently missing doses then our Managing my Medicines service may be more suitable for you in the long term.
If you have forgotten to take your dose then follow these four steps to find out how to deal with missing a dose of your specific medicine. There are many situations that cannot be covered by general advice and therefore if you are in any doubt you should seek further advice from a pharmacist, doctor or specialist.
Check the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL)
Anytime you receive a supply of medicine from a pharmacy, a Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) should be supplied as well. This is an important guide to your medicine and includes a section on ‘How to take’ the medicine. If you forget to take a dose of your medicine at the usual time, then this is the first place you should look and the PIL will provide you with specific information about missed or forgotten doses.
If you can’t find this in the box or you have thrown it away, then you can find a copy on the EMC website.
Check the NHS website
If you can’t find information in the PIL or are unable to find one, then the NHS website is the next best place to look. If you find your medicine on this list, you can find advice on missed doses under the title ‘What if I forget to take it?’
ONLY if you CANNOT find information on the PIL or NHS website, then you can follow this general advice.
This advice depends on how late the dose is:
If the dose is less than 2 hours late, take it as soon as it is remembered. As a general rule, for the majority of medicines it is acceptable to take a dose up to 2 hours late. If taking medicines at a shorter interval than usual you may experience more side effects.
If the dose is more than 2 hours late, then it usually depends how often you take the medicine:
Once or twice daily– Take the dose as soon as it is remembered as long as the next dose is not due within a few hours
More often than twice daily– Skip the missed dose and wait for the next dose, then continue taking the medicine at the usual times
Do not take a double dose
As a general rule, never take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose unless specifically advised by a healthcare professional.
All information was correct at the time of writing. There are many situations that cannot be covered by general advice and therefore if you are in any doubt you should seek further advice from a pharmacist, doctor or specialist.