August 9, 2021
3 min. read

Ask a Pharmacist: What If I Miss A Dose?


Your pharmacist is able to help you with far more questions about your health than you might realize, yet few people take advantage of this powerful tool in their health and wellness arsenal.

Pharmacists can help you with all types of questions like those about common illnesses like cold and flu, how to take your medications, how your medications interact, how to manage various disease states like high blood pressure and diabetes, and more.

In fact, here is one question you may not know to ask your pharmacist, but should.

patient provider

What should I do if I miss a dose of my medication?

For the vast majority of cases, the following advice for an unintentional missed dose will do:

If you forget to take one or more doses, take your next dose at the normal time and in the normal amount. Do not take any more than your doctor prescribed.

miss a dose

If you miss one dose, skip it and continue with your normal schedule.

“Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist before doing so because every medication is different. Some medications you cannot just skip; you have to double up. Not all medicines are the same. Generally you can take a skipped day, but before doing so consult with your doctor or pharmacist.”

If it has been less than two hours since your scheduled dose, it is okay to go ahead and take your missed dose. However, if it has been more than two hours, what to do depends on how often you generally take that medication.

If you usually take that medication twice a day, it is probably safe to take your medication provided the medication in question is not insulin. Since your next dose is in another few hours, there’s less risk of overdose.

If you take that medication three or more times a day, it’s okay to skip that dose and wait until the next one.

Whatever you do, there is rarely a need to take two doses to “make up” for missing a dose.

what if i miss a dose

What if I feel sick when I miss a dose?

Missing a dose of some anti-depressants — such as Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, and Lexapro — may result in something called “discontinuation syndrome.”

Symptoms of discontinuation syndrome include:

  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Tingling sensations
  • Vivid dreams
  • Sweating or electric shock sensations

Discontinuation syndrome is the result of drugs with a short half-life, which means they stay in your system for a much shorter time than other drugs.

In order to prevent experiencing discontinuation syndrome, you should work out a tapering schedule with your prescribing doctor if you plan on going off these medications. Otherwise, your symptoms should improve with your next regularly scheduled dose.

Don’t Miss a Dose with Medly

While missed doses do occasionally occur, there are ways to take preventative steps so that you ensure not to miss more doses in the future. In fact, Medly makes it easy to stay on track with your medications in a number of ways.

With a variety of types of medication packaging available, it makes it easier to track and manage your medications. In fact, some of our blister packs are even labeled by weekend day, or morning, noon, and night. Your Medly pharmacists will pack your personalized blister pack according to your medication regime, so taking your meds at the right time, the right way, is easier than ever.

Missed doses occasionally occur because patients forget to refill their medications. But Medly will call you to remind you when it’s time for a refill! And if you’re getting a thirty day supply of your medication, we’ll call your doctor and your insurance to see if we can deliver you a ninety day supply instead.

That way, you’ll be sure not to miss a dose because you don’t have your meds. If you have more than one medication, we’ll also be sure to sync all of your refills, so it’s less of a hassle to get the meds you need.

We also provide financial assistance and medication counseling and education so that if you have any questions about a missed dose, you can easily and quickly contact one of our expert pharmacists about what you should do next.

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