Tools to Help You Organize Your Medications

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You have every intention of following doctor’s orders when it comes to your prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements. After all, you want to improve your health and lower your risk of complications. But this gets complicated when you or a loved one you care for takes several medications at once. 

Thankfully, medication-tracking tools can help you untangle the confusion and make it easier to follow your doctor’s orders – and not skip a dose. 

These tools range from no-tech or low-tech to higher tech options such as smartphone apps. 

None of these tracking tools is simpler than the tried and true, easy-to-organize medication log that you maintain on paper.  

And to make your medication log easy to access on your smartphone or tablet, save the document on your computer, on a cloud platform such as Dropbox.

Maintain a Log of Your Medications

You can create your own log or download a medication log template from the internet, such as the Institute for Safe Medication Practice’s Universal Medication FormOff Site Icon.

Record the following for each prescribed or OTC medication and supplement you use:

  • Brand and generic name
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  • Dosage and schedule
  • Reasons you take the medicine
  • Prescribing physician
  • Special advice on how to take – for instance, whether to take with or without food
  • Description of medication’s shape or color
  • Pharmacy’s phone number

Bring your log to medical appointments – and update the list as you’re taken off a medicine or prescribed a new one. Make copies of your log – one for your purse or wallet, one to keep at home, and others to give to a friend, family member or caregiver.

You can also use the medication log to guide you in setting up pill organizers for a week or more at a time for yourself or someone you’re caring for. 

And to make your medication log easy to access on your smartphone or tablet, save the document on your computer, on a cloud platform such as Dropbox.Or upload it on a document organization app like Evernote.

Tech Options

For organization, you can’t go wrong with a medication log – whether on paper or online. 

But you can add another level of sophistication and organization to your pill taking with tech options. 

These include:

  • Electronic pill organizers and dispensers that sound a reminder alarm when it’s time for each dose. These dispensers also can send notifications to caregivers to alert them when a pill is taken or a dose is missed. 
  • Medication-tracking apps for smartphones. These include free apps such as CareZoneOff Site Icon and MedisafeOff Site Icon for Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices and Round HealthOff Site Icon for iOS devices. These apps alert you when to take a dose or refill a prescription. Medisafe alerts caregivers when a dose is missed and can check for drug interactions.