Now that you are taking medications for your hepatitis C, it's important you set a routine for yourself so that you can remember when to take them.
You will be taking two different medications with two very different schedules. So, you will have to remember to take both your daily medication and your weekly injection at the correct times.
One of the best ways to do this is to relate taking your medicine with something that you do as part of your daily routine. For example, you could plan to take your medications before or after brushing your teeth, or eating breakfast in the morning. Other times could include just before leaving home for work, or before taking your children to school.
Let's listen to a few of the ways other people with hepatitis C remember to take their medications.
(Patient talking:) "I get the kids ready for school every morning. This is when I take my morning ribavirin dose. In the evening I take my ribavirin after we wash the dishes. Every Wednesday after my son has soccer practice, I inject my peginterferon. Because these things are part of my regular schedule, it helps me to remember to take my medications at the right time."
Using a calendar to record the days for peginterferon injections is helpful to some people. You should keep the calendar in a place where it can be easily seen -- this will help remind you when to take your injection. Other people find that keeping a medication diary is the most helpful way for them to remember to take their medicine.
(Patient talking:) "I inject my peginterferon once a week on the same day and at the same time. This means that I have to find a way to remember when to take my dose. I use a calendar on the kitchen wall, and my medication diary that I keep on the refrigerator. My wife also helps me to remember my injection day."
Now let's talk briefly about your ribavirin pills.
Since ribavirin should be taken with food, it may be easier for you to take it at breakfast and at dinner -- approximately 12 hours apart.
Moving your bottle of ribavirin to be near your common activities may help remind you to take it every day. Some ideas of places to keep your ribavirin include:
* On the kitchen table
* By your car keys
* On the nightstand
* Near the coffee pot in the kitchen, or
* By your toothbrush in the bathroom.
But if you have children, make sure ribavirin is kept in a place where they can't get to it.
Some people feel uncomfortable about telling friends, or even family members, that they have hepatitis C. But it's important to find a few good sources of support to help you through your treatment program. People often find that friends or family members make good reminders. So you may want to ask a family member or partner who knows about your condition to help you remember to take your medications. By making this a family affair, you can have emotional support and extra help remembering when to take your medications.
If you work at night, you may need to make special arrangements to take your medications at a time that is convenient for you, and when you are most likely to remember.
Whatever schedule you set for yourself, it's important to stick with it. If you do get off schedule, it's important to get back on your normal schedule as soon as possible. No one way is right or wrong -- the most important thing is to figure out what will work best for you.