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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I'm Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

People on a lot of medications can get confused or forgetful about when to take them, and so miss doses or take too many. At Northwestern University in Chicago, Michael Wolf looked into that in data on 484 patients, ages 55 to 74.

The patients were given instructions for seven drugs to be taken over 24 hours, and told to create the simplest schedule. The simplest was four times a day. But Dr. Wolf says fewer than 15 percent got it right.

``That could be one of the most challenging things for people is to figure out not only when to take your medicine but how can I take all of my medicine in the most efficient manner to support adherence.'' (8 seconds)

The study in Archives of Internal Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at hhs.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I'm Ira Dreyfuss.