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Having a reminder about which medications to take when can be handy, especially for people who take medication every day. It may also help prevent serious negative health effects.

This article looks at some of the best pill reminder apps available. It also gives tips on choosing the best app, explores some other helpful reminders, and answers frequently asked questions.

A pill reminder app notifies a person when to take specific medications. A person can download it on their smartphone or some other devices.

Taking medication at the right time improves how well it works and how safe it is.

One 2017 study found that participants delayed taking their medications 80–85% of the time and forget to take it 44–46% of the time. Not taking medications as prescribed leads to an estimated 125,000 deaths each year.

Medical News Today lists reputable apps with a range of prices and features.

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Best for sharing reminders: MediSafe App

The MediSafe App has the following features:

  • an option to synchronize data from multiple users into a single account
  • an unlimited number of medication reminders
  • information about drug interactions and side effects
  • notifications about medical appointments
  • notifications for caregivers about when to refill prescriptions
  • the offer of online pharmacy services
  • recording and monitoring of:
    • weight
    • heart rate
    • blood pressure
    • blood sugar levels
    • temperature

The MediSafe App allows people to add multiple users to one account. The people can share medication data as PDFs, which may be useful during medical appointments.

Cost

The basic version of the Medisafe App is free.

The cost of the premium version differs, according to the mobile operating system a person uses. On iOS, the premium version is $4.99 a month or $39.99 a year. On Android, the premium app is $2.99 a month or $39.99 a year.

Reviews

The MediSafe app has 3.7 out of 5 on Amazon and 4.7 out of 5 on the App Store for iPhone and Apple Watch. Positive reviews praise the multiple features and ease of use. A few negative reviews mention difficulty changing or removing medication reminders.

Best for flexibility: Dosecast

The Dosecast app has a basic package and a pro package, both of which have multiple features. This app may be best for flexible tracking and personalization.

The basic package offers:

  • options to take, postpone, or skip doses
  • flexible scheduling for daily, weekly, or monthly dosage
  • a snooze feature that plays periodically until a person takes their medication
  • customizable medication names and expiry dates
  • dosage information
  • notes
  • calibration across time zones

The pro package offers:

  • seamless data synchronization across unlimited devices
  • the ability to assign medications to multiple users, including pets
  • the option to track medication compliance
  • the option to track medication quantities and set refill alerts
  • the option to upload photos of medication so the person can identify them more easily

Cost

The basic version of the Dosecast app is free, while the pro version costs $3 a month. In-app purchases range from $1.99–27.99 per item.

It is available on iOS and Android.

Reviews

The Dosecast app has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 on the App Store.

Best for symptom tracking: CareClinic

The CareClinic app tracks the use of medications, supplements, and birth control. It also allows for symptom tracking.

The app has the following features:

  • medication refill reminders and medical report summaries
  • tracking of
    • weight
    • pulse and blood pressure
    • sleep and energy levels
    • mood
    • temperature
  • the option to share care plans and reports directly with medical providers
  • information about drug and supplement interactions

Cost

The CareClinic app is free for Android and iOS, and in-app purchases range from $1.99–59.99 per item.

Reviews

The CareClinic app receives a rating of 4.4 out of 5 on the Play Store and 4.2 out of 5 on the App Store.

Best visual displays: Pillboxie

The Pillboxie app’s graphics allow users to access and stock a virtual pillbox so they can see the amount of medication they have or need to take.

The app has these features:

  • the option of scheduling multiple reminders
  • a color coding system for different medication reminders
  • reminders that appear on the smartphone’s screen even when the device is asleep

Cost

The Pillboxie app costs $1.99 and is available for iOS but not Android.

Reviews

The app is easy to use, with a simple interface. However, it is not free and has limited features, compared with some others. Users give the app a rating of 3.7 of 5 on the App Store.

Best birth control reminder: Lady Pill Reminder

The Lady Pill Reminder app notifies people to take their birth control pill at the same time each day.

The app offers:

  • an option to enter the type of birth control
  • automatic pause features, for days when contraception is unnecessary
  • medication stock check and refill reminders
  • customizable notification sounds
  • options to take notes and track symptoms

Cost

The Lady Pill Reminder app is free and available on both iOS and Android. A person can upgrade to a premium plan for $2.99-$14.99 per month.

Reviews

The app is for birth control only, so a person cannot use it for other medications. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 on the App Store and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 on the Play Store.

Best for pharmacy store: CareZone

The CareZone app provides medication reminders and online pharmacy services.

Features include:

  • audible medication prompts, even when a person’s phone is on silent or in “do not disturb” mode
  • the option to order refills from selected pharmacies with free delivery
  • the ability to track certain health markers, such as weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels
  • a calendar with reminders for upcoming medical appointments

Cost

The CareZone app is free and available on iOS and Android.

Reviews

The CareZone app has an extensive pharmacy service. The service and delivery are free, so a person only needs to pay for their medications. The app has a rating of 2.5 out of 5 on the App Store.

Best on Android: MedPlan

The Medplan app provides medication reminders and offers healthy lifestyle tips.

It has these features:

  • an option for people to input their medical history, such as allergies and drug reactions
  • an option to receive monthly medical reports
  • a health monitoring service that tracks:
    • weight
    • blood pressure
    • blood sugar levels
  • interactive games and health news

Cost

MedPlan is free and available on Android but not iOS.

Reviews

The MedPlan app has a rating of 4.3 out of on the Play Store.

Best on iOS: MedManage

The MedManage app allows iOS users to log and manage medications for multiple people.

It offers these features:

  • tracking for current and past prescriptions
  • customizable medication lists, schedules, and reminder alerts
  • an optional birth control reminder
  • an optional opioid monitor
  • the option of monitoring chronic diseases

Cost

The MedManage app is free and has in-app purchases. It is available on iOS but not Android.

Reviews

Overall, the app receives a rating of 4.2 out of 5 on the App Store. Most positive reviews state that the app is easy to use, while most negative ones report that the app is prone to glitches.

Best for pill identification: Care4Today

The Care4Today app gives medication and appointment reminders, as well as prompts to refill prescriptions.

It has these features:

  • a database with images of pills and an option to upload photos of medications that are not in the database
  • weekly and monthly reports on medication use
  • the option to notify caregivers or family members when the person misses a dose

Cost

The Care4Today app is free on both Android and iOS.

Review

The app has a rating of 3.5 out of 5 on the App Store.

Positive reviews praise the missed dose notifications for caregivers or family members. Negative ones report that there are fewer health tracking features, compared with other apps.

Best for simplicity: RoundHealth

The RoundHealth app is simple and easy to use. It allows a person to store information about their medications and supplements.

It has these features:

  • options to receive pill reminders and track pill taking on a calendar
  • the ability to record and track medications
  • refill tracking and reminders
  • user accounts with backup and syncing across different devices

Cost

The Roundhealth app is free and available on iOS but not Android.

Reviews

The app has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 on the App Store. Positive reviews praise the user-friendly design. Negative ones refer to a lack of health tracking features.

The table below compares the different pill reminder apps according to their pros and cons, consumer ratings, and cost.

App nameBest forProConApp Store RatingPlay Store RatingCost
MediSafesharing remindersmultiple featurescost for premium version4.7/5Basic: free

Premium: $4.99/month
Dorecastflexibilitymedication management featurescost for premium version4.2/5free

in-app purchases from $3.99
CareClinicsymptom trackinginformation share featureonly available on Android4.2/54.5/5free

in-app purchases from £1.99
Pillboxievisual displaysease of uselimited features3.7/5$1.99
Lady Pill Reminderbirth control reminderautomatic pause featurelimited to birth control4.6/54.7/5free

upgrade from $2.99
CareZonepharmacy servicespharmacy featurenot user-friendlyfree
MedPlanAndroidhealthy lifestyle featuresonly available on Android4.3/5free
MedManageiOSease of useprone to glitches4.2/5free
Care4Todaypill identificationnotifications for caregiverslack of health tracking3.5/5free
RoundHealthsimplicityease of useno health tracking 4.4/5free

After downloading and opening the app, a person types in the names of their medications and the prescribing doctor’s instructions about when to take them. The app then sends a reminder, as a sound with a message, for example, at the designated times.

Some apps can provide monthly and weekly reports on the user’s consistency in taking their medication. People can share these reports with their doctors.

Certain apps also offer reminders for medication refills or doctor’s appointments. To use these features, a person needs to enter the information into the app’s calendar.

A person may prefer one of these ways of indicating when to take medication:

  • Alarms: These make a sound and may show a message when it is time to take medication. A caregiver may set them in advance
  • Pill organizers: These pill containers have labeled compartments for days of the week. Some may also have compartments for breakfast, lunchtime, and dinnertime.
  • Automated dispensing machines: These pill organizers dispense medication at set times.

Below are answers to common questions about pill reminders.

What is the best pill reminder?

The best option depends on a person’s needs and preferences. A person might try downloading several free apps before deciding on the features that suit them best.

How do apps remind me to take pills?

Most apps send a sound or visual notification to a person’s smart device.

How do I set a medication reminder on my iPhone?

Each pill reminder app works slightly differently. In general, a person types in a list of their medications and the instructions from their doctor when they first download the app. Then, the app generates reminders about which medications to take when.

Taking medications according to the doctor’s instructions can improve how well they work and reduce the risk of side effects.

Pill reminder apps send a notification when a person should take a specific medication. This may prevent people from missing a dose or accidentally taking more than one.

Some apps have additional features, such as health tracking, refill reminders, and the option to refill prescriptions through an online pharmacy.

Many pill reminder apps are available. The best type depends on the features a person is looking for. A person might try several free options to get a feel for what they want.