Monday, December 27, 2010

Caregivers and Parents-save time with one of these!

If you are a caregiver, or parent who manages medications, using a pill box can not only help someone take the right dose at the right time- they can save you TONS of time and hassle.

Think of it this way- if you are managing 5 prescriptions that are taken twice daily- you have to open those vials over 300 TIMES A MONTH! By opening up the vials each time you dispense, you are also increasing the likelihood of medication errors. Vials look the same, and are easy to mix up. Sitting down once a month or week and pre-filling a pill box is one of the most cost effective and easiest ways to make sure your medications are dispensed correctly. You no longer have to worry about fussing with a drawer full of vials, spending time each day dispensing medication.

One of the best times to pre-load a pill box is on Sunday when you are planning the week. Most people use this time since it is often free from the stress or "white noise" of the other days of the week. Now you can concentrate on making sure the medication is correctly dispensed.

One of the most popular models of pill boxes for caregivers and people on multiple medications is the one shown here. You can purchase at any major drug store or retailer. These are perfect for pre-loading. Now all your week or months medication is in one handy spot. Plus you can easily tell if a dose was missed- something almost impossible to do with vials.

Remember to chose a pill box that works for your situation- and one you like! There are hundreds of shapes, styles, and sizes- all designed to make managing your medications much easier. And most are under 5 dollars!

I will go into more detail and helpful hints about choosing pill boxes in future blogs.

-Pill Box Guy

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How to pick a pill box part 1

Hopefully you have learned about your ailment and the medications you have been prescribed and you have committed to taking your medications properly.  Time to move forward- time to get organized!

Now its time for the fun part- picking a pill box that is right for you.

Some of the important things to consider before purchasing a pill box.

1. How many medications are you (or family member) on?
2. What are the sizes of your pills?
3. How many times a day do you need to take them?
4. Do you need to take your meds with you to work or travel?
5. Is privacy a concern?
6. How often do you want to fill your pill box?

Pill boxes come in hundreds of shapes and sizes and are available at most any drugstore. There are large selections of quality pill boxes at CVS and Walgreens if you shop there.  Target and Walmart too- by the pharmacy. You can get ones that are designed specifically for taking am/pm medications, 3 times day, 4 times a day, monthly, weekly and so on. There are some designed for travel, some that lock, huge ones, little tiny ones, dettachable ones, some for pets, teens, adults and elders......and some that are opaque so your medications are discreet.

In the end- it will come down to personal preferences, it can be something as simple as a color you like. The main thing is to get one that resonates with you and creates a positive feeling when you look at it or use it- something vials will not.

Next blog we will go into specifics of functionality that separate good pill boxes from bad ones.

-pill box guy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Making a Rx list (and checking it twice)

Hello all,

While Santa is checking his list, we need to make sure we are checking our rx "list" too before we visit the doctor or start taking new medications. Here is a list of 3 simple things you can do to improve your medication management experience.

1. Educate yourself on your ailment if you have not already done so. That, combined with the valuable insight of your doctor or pharmacist should take a lot of the confusion and anxiety out of taking a new prescription. Get to know possible side effects so you are prepared in advance if you feel them. Some great resources for this are the disease database, this site can also guide you to bigger sites with more info on your specific issue.  The center for disease control is also good,

To learn about your medications try

2. Commit to taking your medications. According to a 2010 New York Times article 50% of Americans do not take their prescriptions correctly. Wow! Simply forgetting to take your medication is only a small component to this problem- it is much deeper then that. A person needs to hold themselves accountable for taking the right dose at the right time. One way to help motivate yourself is to think of the reasons "why" you are taking medications- for your family, to enjoy life more, to stay active, to be pain free, to play with your grandkids, ......... what's your reason?

3. Get Organized, Get Better. This is one of my mantras. If you are on 3 prescriptions that are taken twice daily you have to open your vials over 175 TIMES A MONTH! Right there it becomes a hassle and a roadblock. Free your pills from the vial and load them either weekly or monthly into a pill box. So now you only need to open them 6-24 times a month. Pre-planning a week or months worth of meds saves a lot of time and frustration- and is show you are committed to taking them! (Keep you vials all in one place if you need to reference them.) Pill boxes, planners, reminders, or whatever we want to call them are available at most every mass and independent pharmacy in all sorts of sizes and configurations. The biggest selection in the USA at retail is at CVS, but you might find a special one that resonates with you online or at Independent pharmacies. Companies like Apothecary Products, Inc (the company that made me!) are introducing designer and trendy "fun" pill boxes. There are versions for the entire family including kids and pets. Pick one that works well, but one that you like to look at too!

Over the next few blogs we will go in depth into why and how pill boxes work so well. Learn more about specific types of reminders and other medication management tips at:

Remember- Educate, Commit, Organize!

Have great holiday- don't forget your meds!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So you have a prescription- now what?

Welcome to my first blog post! There will be weekly or bi-weekly posts going forward.

Before I even begin getting into pill boxes and how great they are we need to start at the beginning.

First and foremost the most important thing you can do as a patient is learn about your disease or symptoms. Do not rely on your doctor to voluntarily give you this information without asking. Be proactive, and press your doctor for clarification, especially in regard to the medication they may be prescribing. You are the "client" and have every right to keep asking and asking until you are satisfied and clear about what you are about to put into your body. Studies have shown the more engaged a patient is with their doctor the better the relationship will be. Too often people put pills inside me without knowing why they are in there. I urge anyone on medication to take accountability for educating themselves on the side effects and benefits that come with them. If you are having difficulty creating a dialogue with your doctor- try your pharmacist! Pharmacists are among the most trusted professionals in America and are vested in making sure you take your prescription correctly. Don't be shy! One of the main reasons people fail to take their prescriptions is simply lack of understanding of the medication they are on- lets face it, a new medication can be intimidating.

So please inform yourself about your ailments and medication as much as possible before taking them.
It is the first step in getting the most from your medication!

Learn about all types of medication at,

Next blog we will go into ways to make managing your medications much easier- in the meantime check out this great blog on similar topic