Does your medication routine “spark joy”?
When you’re prescribed multiple medicines, keeping them organized can be tricky. Managing many medications may cause you to forget to take your medications at the correct times, or even be tempted to skip your medications altogether. Skipping, changing, or ignoring your medications can be bad for your health.
Whether it’s your workspace, bedroom, or medication regimen, tidying up your life can provide a lot of stress relief (just ask organization guru Marie Kondo). If you’re taking many different medicines, keeping your pills organized can help you keep your treatment plan on track. Here are some tips to help you tidy up your medication routine:
TIP #1: Ask your doctor about combining your meds.
If your medicine schedule is significantly affecting the quality of your life, tell your doctor. You may have options to switch up your medications or routine.
“A lot of medications are now available in combination form, so you can have two to three medications combined,” says Preeti Parikh, MD, chief medical editor at HealthiNation and a pediatrician at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
TIP #2: Use a pill box.
“Use a weekly pill box to keep your medicines organized by the day or by the week,” says Punkaj Khanna, PharmD, a pharmacist based in New York City. Some brands even allow you to sort your pills by time of day.
TIP #3: Keep a medication chart.
Track your regimen on a chart or schedule and mark each medication as you take it. There are also apps and online tools that can help you keep track and set reminders to take your medication on time.
TIP #4: Try mail-order prescriptions.
Talk with your doctor about home delivery pharmacies that pre-pour medications and put them in blister packaging for you. This will take the guesswork out of sorting your own medicines—and save you trips to the pharmacy!
TIP #5: Get to know your pharmacist.
“Talking to your pharmacist about your drug regimen is a great tool,” says Khanna.
Find a pharmacist and/or pharmacy that you like and consider sticking with them. Using one pharmacy can help your pharmacist(s) get to know you, and be able to review your medications and help flag any issues. Your pharmacist may also be able to work with you and your health care team to find ways to reduce the number of pills you take or address any other challenges you have.
Some pharmacies or prescription drug programs offer Medication Therapy Management (MTM) programs to review and track medications for certain people. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Understanding your medications and taking them as directed is just as important to your health as getting enough exercise and eating a nutritious diet. “Remember, you, your pharmacist, and your doctor will make up a team to help [you] reach your optimal health,” says Dr. Parikh.
Preeti Parikh, MD serves as the Chief Medical Officer of HealthiNation. She is a board-certified pediatrician practicing at Westside Pediatrics, is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and is an American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson. She holds degrees from Columbia University and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and has completed post-graduate training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.Punkaj Khanna
Punkaj Khanna earned his Pharm.D. from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. He works at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and has special interests in patient education and compliance.
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When taking lots of medications,
which include not only prescriptions but
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your over-the-counter medications and
supplements, it could be overwhelming.
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Managing many prescriptions may
cause you to skip your doses or
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forget them altogether.
00:00:28,759 --> 00:00:33,365
Here's some tips to help keep
your treatment plan on track.
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A lot of medications are now
available in combination forms,
00:00:37,473 --> 00:00:41,029
so you could have two to
three medications combined.
00:00:41,029 --> 00:00:46,458
Use a weekly pill box to help
keep your medicines organized,
00:00:46,458 --> 00:00:48,700
by the day or by the week.
00:00:48,700 --> 00:00:53,030
Keep a chart and
mark each medicine as you take it.
00:00:53,030 --> 00:00:55,655
Talk to your doctor about
mail order prescriptions.
00:00:55,655 --> 00:00:59,259
The medication can be sent to your home,
pre-sorted for you,
00:00:59,259 --> 00:01:01,369
therefore making it easier to take.
00:01:01,369 --> 00:01:04,700
Talking to your pharmacist about
your drug regimen is a great tool.
00:01:04,700 --> 00:01:09,157
Some pharmacies offer medication therapy
management, which help you review and
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track your medication.
00:01:10,521 --> 00:01:12,655
Remember, you, your pharmacist, and
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your doctor will make up a team to
help reach your optimal health.
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