Best time to take medicine: how to choose and not to forget

Having to take medication for a while (or for the rest of your life) can be very difficult for some people. This, in general, because the big problem lies in remembering the dose at the correct time.

Thus, when patients need to undergo some treatment that requires the strict use of medicines every 4, 6 or 8 hours, for example, it is quite common to have difficulty finding a good time.

To help with the bills, the Healthy Minute brings some tips on times to start the intake and what are the next dosages – which will facilitate the setting of the alarm and, consequently, the correct treatment

Why is it important to take your medication at the right time?

To have good effects in drug treatment, it is essential to strictly follow medical guidelines, and this includes the time of the medication. Sometimes, forgetting the time can cause the level of the substance in the body to be below ideal, interfering with the results.

If it is a painkiller, for example, patients may experience pain and discomfort again. Antibiotics , on the other hand , if delayed, may allow resistant bacteria to appear, facilitating their multiplication.

And the same goes for advanced doses, because taking the medicine earlier than prescribed will cause the concentration of the substance in the body to be higher, which can trigger adverse reactions.

It is worth remembering that the indicated time is always based on the form of absorption and metabolization of the drug substance, so that its concentration is always adequate and results in an effective treatment.

When is the best time to take your medication?

Before defining the time to take the medicines, it is worth talking to the doctor about the care and time for ingestion. Some need to be taken only in the morning or at night, others already need shorter intervals of time. Here are some options:

How to take medicine every 12 hours?

When the medication needs to be taken every 12 hours, it is usually simpler to find a time that is easy to adjust to the routine.

Some examples are:

  • 08h e 20h;
  • 09h e 21h;
  • 10h e 22h;
  • 11h e 23h;
  • 12h and 00h.

Of course, these are some options, but any other time may be ideal as long as it facilitates the treatment.

How to take medicine every 8 hours?

For remedies that need to be taken at 8 hour intervals, the options can be:

  • 06h, 14h and 22h;
  • 07h, 15h e 23h;
  • 08h, 16h e 00h.

How to take medicine every 6 hours?

For the remedies prescribed every 6 hours, the suggestions are:

  • 06h, 12h, 18h e 00h;
  • 07h, 13h, 19h e 01h;
  • 08h, 14h, 20h e 02h;
  • 09h, 15h, 21h e 03h.

How to take medicine every 4 hours?

When guidance is to use every 4 hours, the hours can be:

  • 08h, 12h, 16h, 20h, 00h e 04h;
  • 09h, 13h, 17h, 21h, 01h e 05h;
  • 10h, 14h, 18h, 22h, 02h e 06h;
  • 11h, 15h, 19h, 23h, 03h e 07h.

Tips for not forgetting to take your medication at the right time

Some treatments require the use of more than one medication and sometimes at different times. Therefore, there are some measures that can make it easier for patients not to delay or confuse dosages. Between them:

Use your phone as a reminder

Technologies can be combined at this time, and setting alarms is a great way to organize medications. Remember to name the alarms if you are using more than one medication.

Avoid deactivating the alarm and keep doing something before going to take the medicine, as this creates a risk of forgetfulness.

Record the times on the box or on a sheet

Choose the best time and leave everything noted in the box itself or in a spreadsheet near the medicines. This will prevent you from having to keep telling everything again.

Clarify doubts with professionals

Before setting the time, talk to the doctor and see if there is any obligation to eat: if it needs to be fasted, if it is better to eat with or without food, if several medicines can be taken at the same time, among others.

Read the leaflet

In the package insert, you can find all the information on what to do if you forget to take a dosage. But the ideal is always to organize yourself so that this does not happen and the treatment is not affected.


The best way to succeed in drug treatment is to follow the prescription to the letter. That is why it is essential to have rigorous dosing schedules.

To have more health and well-being, the Healthy Minute brings tips for everyday life!

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