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URMC / BHP / BHP Blog / March 2024 / Never Miss a Dose: Strategies for Medication Adherence

Never Miss a Dose: Strategies for Medication Adherence


Author: Megan Maurer, NP

It’s been a busy day and among all your responsibilities, taking your medication for the day went by the wayside and you missed a dose. Many of us have been there before. If you ever missed a dose of medication, you’re not alone.

And it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you’re struggling with forgetfulness or adhering to your medications – there are applications for your computer or smartphone, or telephone assistance that can help you.

But if you find it happening more often than not, or you intentionally don’t take your prescribed medication, a simple conversation with your provider might help. On your quest to feel better, medication adherence is one of the key factors that can help alleviate the symptoms you’re experiencing, prevent relapse, avoid hospitalization, and maintain treatment effectiveness.  

There are many reasons someone doesn’t adhere to their medications or take the dosage and/or time prescribed continuously including:

  • Forgetting to take the medication
  • Enduring side effects from the medication
  • Having negative beliefs about mental health medications
  • Believing that medication is not necessary

For some disorders, like depression, medications are a key part of treatment, and not taking your medication as prescribed can lead to negative outcomes like visits to the emergency room, other health issues, missing work, or exacerbation of symptoms. Your provider is your partner when it comes to your mental health, and being open and honest with them about any aspect of your treatment will only benefit you. Collaborative care can also play an enormous role. Having your primary care physician collaborate with another provider such as a psychiatrist, therapist or psychiatric nurse practitioner, can lead to greater effectiveness of your treatment which ultimately leads to improved symptoms. You can also benefit greatly from having your psychiatric provider collaborate with other specialists you see, like neurology, chronic pain, gastroenterology, or more. Every illness is influenced by and impacts an individual’s social, psychological, and behavioral health, and collaboration among your health care providers related to your medications and symptoms can contribute to a successful approach in your care.

When talking to your provider about your medication, it’s okay to:

  • Ask questions about side effects and how those side effects can be managed.
  • Ask how the medication might interact with medications you’re already taking.
  • Share your concerns or belief system around taking another medication.
  • Share any issues with medication adherence in the past or present.
  • Request collaboration with any other provider on your care team, like a primary care physician or specialist.

If you’re struggling with medication adherence, or think you could benefit from someone reviewing your medications, Behavioral Health Partners may help. Behavioral Health Partners is brought to you by Well-U, offering eligible individuals mental health services for stress, anxiety and depression.  To schedule an intake appointment, give us a call at (585) 276-6900.


González de León, B., del Pino-Sedeño, T., Serrano-Pérez, P., Rodriguez Alvarez, C., Bejarano-Quisoboni, D., & Trujillo-Martín, M. M. (2022). Effectiveness of interventions to improve medication adherence in adults with depressive disorders: a meta-analysis. BMC psychiatry22(1), 1-21.

Ho, S. C., Jacob, S. A., & Tangiisuran, B. (2017). Barriers and facilitators of adherence to antidepressants among outpatients with major depressive disorder: a qualitative study. PloS one12(6), e0179290.

Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2012). Antidepressant adherence: are patients taking their medications?. Innovations in clinical neuroscience9(5-6), 41–46.

Wittink, M. N., Rosenberg, T., Waller, C., Qiu, P., & McDaniel, S. (2022). Real-world implementation of the biopsychosocial approach to healthcare: Pragmatic approaches, success stories and lessons learned. Frontiers in Psychiatry13, 1026415.


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