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Organizing Medications

Keeping your medicines easy to find helps you to take accurate doses when you need to. This guide is about organizing medications.


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By 23 found this helpful
June 22, 2010

I take a lot of medication due to my illnesses. To help me sort my medications, I mark the top of the identical bottles with an AM, NOON, or PM and some with both (with a permanent marker). I keep all the bottles in a nice flat bottom bag that is easy to grab and see into when I sort my medication into the individual weekly pill containers. I have a pill container for morning, noon, and night, each a different color and size. Having the bottles marked make it easier to spot the AM pills quickly, as well as the NOON and PM. This helps me a great deal when I am feeling very poorly and my mind isn't wanting to work. When I get a new bottle of pills, I put the already marked lid on the new bottle.


To keep up with my pain medication, I have a note pad by my bottle of pain medication and I write down each and every time I take one and the time of day that I took it, so I do not get confused, this also eases the minds of my family because they can look at my notes if I am sleeping too much. When taking 11 different prescriptions and 18 pills daily, it really helps to keep things running smoothly with little tricks such as these.

I never leave the house without a complete list of all medications that I take and the amounts as well as my allergies, illnesses, surgeries, doctor's, resent tests and contact information. I created this list on my computer so that it is easy to read and update. It is great to enter a doctor's office and hand them my information so they have no questions to ask because all of the answers are there for them, listed on one page and not scattered on several pages like it would be if I filled out their first time visit information.

I hope you can find some help in this information. I have lived by it for over 10 years now because I just cannot remember everything that I take, am allergic to, or all of the other issues doctors want to know. Good luck.

By trbrown22 from Lufkin, TX

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July 8, 20140 found this helpful

Yes, I too mark my meds with a 1X for morning, 2X for twice a day, and B/T for bedtime. Wish I had thought of this 15 yrs ago. I do carry a list of meds, but this last doctor visit I handed him a folder with a contents page of why I was there/medications/bg glucose chart to sign for pharmacy/sig for jury duty/requests for office (like correct errors in prescription amounts, etc.)

Thanks for all the info - keeping meds list up to date to carry and medical info needed in case of emergency is a great idea.

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July 17, 20066 found this helpful

I take multiple medications and usually sort them out into a pill carrier every two weeks. However, I have one pill that I take twice a day at different times than my other meds. This pill I take an hour before breakfast and supper. I take it when I first wake up. Sometimes I had trouble remembering if I took the afternoon dose because the times might change if I had taken a nap or been out for awhile. This has not been a problem since I got the idea, after taking the afternoon dose, to turn the bottle upside down. If it is upside down, I know I have taken it. This could work for any med taken directly from the bottle each day.


By Linda L from Bloomington, IL

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June 22, 20110 found this helpful

Be careful about leaving meds in your car. Cars heat up very quickly and can change the chemical composition of the pills, making them ineffective or worse, dangerous to take.

Also, hiding unmarked pills could cause you some problems if stopped by the police and they decide to search your car. Target stores give you a small slip of paper with each refill that has your name, pharmacy and doctor's info. It also gives the name of the med and a complete description. I keep a copy of each of these clipped together in my purse in case I'm taken to the ER.

Now that I have so many prescriptions that I bought some small bottles, taped each bottle with a prescription slip and put a couple of the appropriate meds in each one. These all go into a small zippered cosmetic case and into my purse.

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By 6 found this helpful
July 1, 2010

I have been staying with my mom following surgery which impacted her eyesight. I noticed she was emptying her medications from the container onto a napkin prior to taking them. Most pills are white, most napkins are white. I searched local thrift shops and found a 3 x 5 inch black tray, similar to those used in restaurants for leaving the check. It worked so well I had to search for a second tray to use in the kitchen for her PM pills. I then added a third pill container for her water pill so she would not have to search through the AM pills to find that single pill. Thanks thrifty, a total expense of $1.10 with tax.

By stef52 from New London, CT

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June 4, 20140 found this helpful

Great idea! Where can I find these trays (in Ann Arbor, MI area)?

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By 0 found this helpful
January 8, 2007

My long term prescriptions are filled via Internet and sometimes I'd forget which one had been refilled. Although we receive a confirmation email, all they give you are the numbers and it's inconvenient to be checking all of the bottles for a match.

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By 1 found this helpful
September 10, 2010

How can I organize my pill bottles? I have around 20 pill bottles all thrown into a drawer and it's not working for me. I take I'd say about 15 different pills a day, but I keep them in a weekly organizer.

The problem comes when it's time to organize my meds for the week! It takes forever because 10 of the bottles are prescription so they all look the same! Help.

By Jennie from Tempe, AZ

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September 14, 20100 found this helpful

I use a marker to write AM, PM or noon on top of the lid. I also find it helpful to have an extra weekly organizer and do it for 2 weeks at a time. I keep the bottles in a cardboard shoe box with an attached lid.

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September 14, 20100 found this helpful

I also take a lot of meds. I write the name of the med on the bottle tops with a sharpie. I then stand the bottles upright in a basket. The drawer would work as well. I also have taped a med list on the bathroom mirror so everything is organized for AM and PM meds. I have 2 colors of weekly organizers, but you can also write yours with paint or nail polish on the organizers. Another thought might be to have the pharmacist give you your pills divided in 2 bottles for AM and PM, and keep AM meds and PM meds in separate baskets.

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September 14, 20100 found this helpful

Why not get a bunch of different colored markers and color-code the bottles? When you refill the Rx, immediately mark it with the color you had previously been using. A simple color band through the label should do the trick.

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September 14, 20100 found this helpful

I use weekly organizers for my medications, but put a different medication in each weekly organizer section using the following method. Use different color permanent markers and put a mark or colored shape on the top of the pill bottles, and then put the same mark or colored shape on each of the individual weekly organizer sections. It makes filling the weekly organizer easier, and helps reduce mistakes while refilling it. If you take multiple meds am and pm, and have a big enough weekly organizer, you can put different colored marks on each day in order to fill with daily meds.

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September 25, 20101 found this helpful

Good Cheers, Fellow Pill-taker,

I take a great number of RX's, mysef,some daily, as prescribed, others, as needed. I also have the vitamins and minerals that I'm supposed to take daily. I have devised a two part system to enable me to organize my daily and monthly supply. When the medications come in, I write the name of the RX and the month and year in thin Sharpie pen on top for easy reading. I place two Rubbermaid "lazy susans" or turn tables on the counter, on which I put each bottle, alphabetically, facing outward.

I use organizers from the craft or notions departments, or sporting goods, automotive or hardware stores. They often have 17-18 large compartments, perfect for a full month or more of RX's. You can also handle your vitamins and minerals the same way, using the same pill box or another one if you choose. (Do not use an "adjustable" divider organizer as I did once. Even if one divider slips upward, your medications slide underneath and get mixed together). I also buy sheets of labels from the office supply store or school supply department. I used to cut strip of paper and used tape to attach labels, but that was too time consuming and my fingers ached from all that cutting.

You can either alphabetize the pills into the compartments or place them according to the times you take them. Then write all the information for your RX two times on one label, if you are using the 3X1 inch size. Write the name of the medication, milligrams, and dosage, along with AM, PM, Mid-day or Night, once each on half the label. So, in effect you have two labels now to put in two places, matching labels for inside the lid area that corresponds with the Pill Box compartment, and then the matching half for inside the edge of the corresponding opening. I have done this for twenty years. Once you go through this system, it's easy to pack for traveling, changing from kitchen to bathroom, etc. If you wish I would be glad to set up the system for you.

I love how easy and fun this is.

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By 5 found this helpful
July 15, 2010

After I missed taking my medicine on time a few days when I was away from home, I realized that I had to do something. Now I take along a bottle of water with me wherever I go and have one of those little "daily pill containers" with single doses of my medications in it.

If I'm in the car, the store, the restaurant, or wherever, I can take my medicine without having to stop for water or bother anyone else with it at all. I have had to cut short my shopping expeditions too many times, just to get home, and still I'd be late and off schedule. No more.

I'm probably the last person in the world to finally learn this, but I'm an "old dog" and it takes me longer to learn a new trick these days.

By pookarina from Boca Raton, FL

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July 26, 20100 found this helpful

I have an adult child that has to take meds at the lunch hour and at 4 30. I usually have the meds but not the water. Thanks for posting this, maybe I will eventually learn to take the water too!



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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 22, 20100 found this helpful

My husband has numerous medical problems. He is disabled and I work most of the time. The problem is remembering all the procedures and medications that he has had done and which medications he's taken. This can be overwhelming.

So what I did was start a small book every time I need to remember something I would write it into the book with the date and findings. I have put it all into the computer in a file marked medical history and put it on an icon for him. His medicine is now on a medicine file what he takes how often and the milligrams all this, is important. This too, is on an icon for easy access.

Now when he has a doctor appointment he prints them an update; keeping all his specialists informed. They are very impressed that he is so knowledgeable of what is going on with his health. This is helpful for any one with any kind of illness that requires long term care.

By Betty D. from Dallas, GA


Keeping Track of Medicines and Procedures

For me I have it in the back of my telephone/address book which I carry all the time. In that way I know what meds I or hubby needs when we run out and also his shoe size and pants size and little things like that it really helps out a lot. (11/02/2009)

By dietvanilla

Keeping Track of Medicines and Procedures

Hope your DH appreciates the jewel he has in you! (11/02/2009)

By JustPlainJo

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June 22, 20100 found this helpful

If you're on any medications or taking any vitamins or herbs, keep a list of them on your refrigerator, at all times, in case of an emergency, either paramedics or any of your family members can grab it easily to inform your physicians of what medications you're using. Be sure to update it, if a prescription is dropped or added.

By Terri from NV

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