Keeping your medicines easy to find helps you to take accurate doses when you need to. This guide is about organizing medications.
I recently saw a tip from someone advising you to put your medications in those convenient daily containers when going on trips to avoid carrying the medicine bottles. I would strongly advise that you not do this! Not everyone knows that it is illegal to carry medicine out of its original container and if you get stopped by the police, they can charge you with carrying contraband. This message should be printed on all packages containing these daily medicine containers.
By lilfaith from Murray, KY
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
As emergency medical service professionals, we despise pill containers that hold the doses of all medications by day or time. When we ask the patient what their medications are, they hand us, or point out the pill pack containers. We can NOT identify the medications by that, nor can the hospital ER staff.
When administering medicines to yourself or a family member, it is essential to be absolutely sure that you have the right medication and the right dose. For those whose visual acuity is not what it once was (that's us, Boomers!), especially in low light levels or in urgent situations, ensure that you can read labels and directions clearly by keeping an inexpensive pair of reading glasses right in or with the medicine box or cabinet. Sharp vision prevents potentially disastrous errors. Have those drugstore reading glasses right at hand and be safe, not sorry.
I am an RN, so I know the serious consequences of medication errors. This idea came to me as I was sorting and updating my own home medicine box.
By Susanna from Akron, OH
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
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.
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
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.
I take several a day and I love ALL these ideas, especially the spice rack idea! I use little baskets and keep them in their bottles and put them on the top shelf in the bathroom for night meds. Meds that throughout the day are in the cabinet in the kitchen on inside of the door, same idea. Get a little basket just wide enough for pill bottles to be lined up, side by side, one row only on the door. So all I have to do is open the door and they are right there. Wish all the best to you!
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 take several medications that I keep in my purse. Rather than looking at each name of medication (with my over 40 year old eyes), I mark each bottle with the first one or two letters of the medication or what the medication is for.
My kids all have medication throughout the year. The pharmacist gives me a second label along with all the medications. When a small pill bottle becomes empty, I save it for those times that my kids go on sleep overs or camps.
If you are like me, you may have vitamins or medications that are too large or too many for a pill container. Take a recloseable snack size plastic bag and write with a permanent marker the days of the week or the number of days in a month. I find this really helps me to keep track of whether I have taken my prescriptions or not.
I got tired of squinting at the tiny dosage directions printed on many pain reliever bottles when needing something. When a new bottle/brand is bought, I take my black, permanent marker and write the dosage in bigger print on the bottle.
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.
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
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)
Hope your DH appreciates the jewel he has in you! (11/02/2009)
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