Learn how to make medication management easier


Older adults take more medications than other age groups. Understanding what medications are for, and when and how to take them helps older adults stay healthy.


Health professionals can explain:

  • When and how often to take medication

  • If a medication should be taken with food or on an empty stomach

  • If any food or drink should be avoided while taking a medication

  • How long to take a medication

  • What directions like "take as needed" mean

  • If a medication has side effects

  • What side effects might feel like

  • What to do in case of side effects

  • What medications might interact with each other

Pharmacies can help older adults with medications, including by:

  • Answering medication questions

  • Sharing information about generic drugs and programs that reduce medication costs

  • Putting medications in easy-to-open containers

  • Putting medications in pre-filled pill boxes

  • Putting medications that are taken at the same time together in blister or bubble packs

  • Putting large-print labels on medications

  • Mailing or delivering medications

Medication lists, calendars or cards for each medication can list:

  • The name of each medication

  • What each medication is for

  • When and how to take each medication

  • Possible side effects for each medication

Alarms, timers, or text alerts on computers, cell phones or smartphones can remind someone when to take medications.