Merck Manual

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Reasons for Not Adhering to Drug Treatment

Reasons for Not Adhering to Drug Treatment

  • Forgetting to take the drug

  • Not understanding or misinterpreting the instructions

  • Experiencing side effects (the treatment may be perceived as worse than the disorder)

  • Finding the drug to taste or smell bad

  • Finding restrictions while taking the drug to be inconvenient (for example, having to avoid sunlight, alcohol, or milk products)

  • Having to take the drug very frequently or follow complicated instructions

  • Denying the disorder (repressing the diagnosis or its significance)

  • Believing that the drug cannot help or is not needed

  • Mistakenly believing that the disorder has been sufficiently treated (for example, thinking an infection is over just because the fever disappears)

  • Fearing dependence on the drug

  • Worrying about the expense

  • Not caring (being apathetic) about getting better

  • Encountering obstacles (for example, having difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules, having problems opening bottles, or being unable to obtain the drug)

  • Distrusting the health care practitioner