Medication Adherence

What is Medication Adherence

In simple words, it means sticking to your medication regimen. Adhering to medication is taking the medication as directed by a healthcare professional – whether taken in pill form, inhaled, injected, or applied topically. Not taking medication as prescribed is called non-adherence.  

Taking medication correctly may seem like a simple or personal matter, but non-adherence is a complicated and common problem. Upwards of three out of four Americans report that they do not always take their medicine as directed. Often there is no single reason someone does not take their medicine as directed, but rather a combination of reasons. These reasons include:  

  • Cost of medicines 
  • Not filling a new prescription or refilling an existing prescription when you are supposed to 
  • Stopping a medicine before the instructions say you should 
  • Taking more or less of the prescribed medicine 
  • Taking the medicine at the wrong time 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Lack of belief in the medicine’s effectiveness, being unsure the medicine is working  
  • Fear of side effects 
  • Trouble taking the medicine (especially with injections or inhalers)