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Compliance to Your Medicines


Compliance to your medicines is defined as following the instructions and advice on medicines made by your team of health care professionals.
The Importance includes:

  • To get well and stay well.
  • To take control of your own health & well being.
  • To reduce the incidence of complications due to incorrect way of taking medicines.
  • To prevent increase cost in due to additional Doctors/ Pharmacist consultation or hospital stay.

Reasons for not complying with your medicines

  • Forgetting to take the medicines..
  • Not understanding and or misinterpreting the instructions.
  • Prescription not collected or not dispensed.
  • Purpose of treatment is not clear.
  • Complicated regimen.
  • Instructions for administration not clear..
  • Experiencing side effects.
  • Not believing that the medicines can help.
  • Mistakenly believing that the disorder has been sufficiently treated. (eg : thinking an infection is over just because the fever disappears)
  • Fearing adverse consequences from or dependence on the medicines.
  • Cost of medicines
  • Not caring about getting better.
  • Encountering obstacles. (eg : having difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules, having problems opening bottles, considering treatment inconvenient, and being unable to obtain the medicines)

Tips to Increase Compliance

  • Take medicines at the same time everyday.
  • Take medicines in conjunction with meal or other daily events, eg; brushing your teeth.
  • Use special medicines taking aids to help you keep track of the schedule to take the medicines, eg; pill boxes, medicines taking chart is schedule to mark when you have taken the medications.

Talk to your pharmacist to help you to prepare your medicines taking; (see Illustration 1: For example of schedule medicines taking schedule table).

Medication name

Form/Colour/ Shape/ sample

Reason for use

Time to be taken

Notes(Side effects/ special instructions)


Illustration 1: Schedule Table


  • Use special medicines devices. eg; pill cutter or pill crusher to help you to cut or crush required medicines if necessary.
  • Use stickers/reminders on medicines cabinet/box/container or on refrigerator as reminder to take the medicines.


  • Ask people close to you to help remind you to take the medicines.
  • Learn about your medicines; why it is given to you, how it works, etc, from your pharmacist.
  • Do not change the way you take the medicines without informing your Doctor/Pharmacist.

7 day pill box

Electronic pill box alarm

Pill box with timer


Last Reviewed : 23 April 2014
Writer : Rosidah bt. Din
    Siti Nurul Fathihah bt. Baharudin
    Hazlin bt. Othman
Accreditor : Dr. Nour Hanah bt. Othman
Reviewer : Nor Aida bt. Sanusi