When you’re taking several medications each day, it can easily become difficult to keep track of dosages and how often you’re supposed to take them. With multiple, identical-looking prescription bottles sitting around you may forget to take one pill or make a mistake and take too many of another.
The key to managing multiple prescriptions is keeping them organized. Organizing your medications may seem like a daunting task, but there are many methods to choose from that can make it less stressful. From using a pill reminder app to simply making a list of all of the medications you need to take each day, there’s sure to be a method that works for you.
Why It’s Important to Keep Your Medications Organized
In 2016, Americans between ages 19 and 64 took an average of 13 prescription medications. For those over the age of 65, that average jumps to 24 prescriptions. Keeping track of so many medications increases your risk of taking an incorrect dosage, forgetting to take a certain medication, and even overdosing.
Having a system for organizing your medications can help keep your daily routine from becoming overwhelming. It can ensure that you’re taking the correct medication at the correct time and in the right dosage, without having to re-read your prescription labels every morning or night to make sure you’re taking the right number of pills. Effectively organizing your medications can help you avoid mistakes and keep you from ending up at the doctor’s office, or worse, the emergency room.
Even for over-the-counter medications you just like to keep on hand, having a clear system for keeping them organized in your medicine cabinet will make it easier to find exactly what you need in a pinch when a sore throat or headache sets in.
Methods for Organizing Medications
We’ve compiled a list of methods for organizations your medications that can easily be implemented and will make your daily medication routine much simpler. Choose one that works best for you and rest easy knowing you’ll be less likely to make a mistake while taking your daily dosages.
Daily Pill Organizers
One of the most common methods for organizing medications is using a daily pill organizer. Pill organizers can be purchased at your local drug store or pharmacy, as well as online. With one of these handy, you’ll be able to plan out your daily dosages for each of your medications in advance, so all you have to do is pop open the compartment labeled for each day of the week and take the meds scheduled for that day.
You can find pill organizers with enough compartments for seven, 14, and even 28 days’ worth of meds. Some even come with multiple sections for each day (such as morning, noon, and night) for those that need to take certain medications multiple times a day.
If you choose to go this route, make sure to keep your pill organizer out of reach of small children. With compartments that easily pop open, children may accidentally ingest pills not meant for them in unsafe quantities.
Schedule Charts and Calendars
Another method for keeping your prescriptions straight is creating a schedule chart or calendar of which medications need to be taken each day, the dosages, and what times you need to take them. This can easily be done in a spreadsheet, word document, or even on a physical calendar.
Take time to write out your medication schedule and leave room to check off each one as they are taken. This method is great for children, because they can see their progress marked off as they take their meds, which holds them accountable for taking them. It’s also a way to visually make sure that you and your children have taken each day’s medications.