What if I Miss a Dose of My Medication?

Published: November 07, 2022

Millions of Americans take medications every day, and many take more than one medication multiple times daily, making it difficult to remember what to take and when to take it. Medicines are essential because they help cure, halt, or prevent diseases as well as ease symptoms of an illness. However, they cannot do their job if not taken regularly.

What should you do if you miss a dose? 

  • What to do if you miss a dose is dependent on the medication you take. Be sure you look at the medication handout specific to the medication you take or you can look at the drug library on safemedication.com for the specific medication you take.
  • In general, if you miss a dose of your medication, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, then continue your regular schedule. If you are closer to the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your standard time.
  • Be aware that you should not take extra doses of the medication simultaneously. However, this may depend on the medication you are taking, and there may be instances in which you may be required to double up on your medication or skip the dose all together.
  • If you are uncertain on how to handle a missed dose call your doctor or pharmacist. 

Tips to help you remember to take your medications:

Taking your medications regularly on schedule is important to making sure the medications are safe and most effective for you. However, it can sometimes be hard to remember to take them. Tips and ideas on how to remember to take your medications can be found here.

Ways to ensure your medications are right for you:

  • Pick the best formulation for you. Medications come in many different ways including pills, liquids, injections, and even patches. Talk to your doctor about alternatives if you are having trouble taking your medication the way it’s prescribed. 
  • Ask about cheaper alternatives. Medications can be very expensive and most people do not have the luxury to spend a lot of money on them each month. Consult your healthcare provider about cheaper alternatives or copay assistance programs.
  • Combine pills. Having to take multiple pills a day can contribute to missing a dose. Some medications such as blood pressure medications have multiple drugs in one pill which makes it easier for patients to remember to take it.
  • Consider the frequency of the medication. Medications that must be taken multiple times a day may not be convenient for patients who have busy schedules and this may cause them to miss a dose. Ask your doctor about alternatives that require less frequent dosing.
  • Have your medications delivered to your home. Call your pharmacy and ask about at home delivery options. 


Many factors can contribute to missed doses, and it is essential to speak with your healthcare provider regarding any barriers you may have prevented you from taking your medications.



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