4 Easy Steps to Refill your Pills
I currently fill up 3 pill boxes every week - one for me, one for my husband, and one for his mother. I thought you might like to know how I do it to ensure that they are filled up correctly every week. Whether you take prescription medications, over-the-counter meds, or natural supplements, a pill box is an easy way to organize your pills and remember to take them all on time.
Although a weekly pill box is pretty common, you can also buy a monthly pill organizer and use the same method to fill those up.
STEP 1) Refill your pill box a day early.
I recommend refilling your pill organizer before it's completely empty.
I guess I like being early, but refilling early means that I can refill any time of the day. This means I can do this important task when I am most alert and focused, rather than late at night or early in the morning.
Sometimes things come up and doing something ahead of time helps avoid crisis. Also, if by chance I find that I am out of my meds, then I have more time to refill them.
Another option is to always fill on the same day of the week. For example, every Sunday. If you decide that you want to do it on the same day every week, then you'll find that you can't fill it early, because filling it early will also make it run out early. So, think about what works best for you, and stick with it.
STEP 2) Gather all of the medications you take. - Read the instructions on the bottles and write a list like this one:
You may have a printout from your doctor's office that lists all of your medications. This printout can be compared to the instructions on the bottles. If you find any discrepancies, ask your doctor for clarification.
Keep all of your medications in the same place. A cosmetic bag is often just the right size. If you have old medications that you don't take anylonger, store these somewhere else to avoid confusion.
STEP 3) Proceed to fill the pill box according to the list you wrote. - Double check that you got the same pills in each day.
STEP 4) Check to see if you are going to be out of any medications next time you refill the pill box.
Reorder as soon as you can.
Usually I check each bottle to see if I'm running low. If I don't have 7 days of pills left, I usually call up my pharmacy to reorder. Each pill bottle as an RX number on it. Often pharmacies allow you to easily reorder by entering the prescription number over an automatic phone system. Many pharmacies also allow for reordering online.
If a medication says "no refills" or "requires doctor's authorization to refill" then you can ask your pharamcy to contact your doctor to request a refill. Sometimes you will be required to make a follow-up appointment with your doctor before you can get more pills. However, if you can't get an appointment before you run out, your doctor may prescribe a small amount of pills so that you don't run out. There are some medications that you shouldn't stop suddenly, so be sure to check with your doctor before doing so.
Weekly Pill Boxes - Buy them Cheap Online - Many Options for Easy Organizing
There are a lot of pill organizers to choose from. Here are some low-cost ones that get great reviews. You'll probably find that it's way cheaper to buy online than at your pharmacy. Some considerations:
1. How many times a day do you take pills?
Choose the one with the correct number of compartments per day.
2. Do you often travel and need to take pills while out?
If you take pills at lunch time, you may want to buy a travel pill organizer. Some of these have removable compartments so that you can take them with you when you're away from home. You don't have to carry the whole pill box with you, but rather just the day's compartment.
Get an extra 7-day pill box, and keep it filled for emergencies.
If there is an earthquake, power outage, big snowstorm, or some other emergency, you might not be able to get to the pharmacy. That's why it's always good to refill your meds as early as possible.
Large Once-a-Day Pill Box - This holds many pills! I have 11 pills in this, including several big ones, and there's still room!
This pill box is great for someone who takes a lot of pills at a time. It also has a very good closure mechanism so it won't pop open accidentally. Great for travel. However, for someone with arthritis or weak hands, it may be difficult to use at first. Buy it on Amazon or iHerb
Tired of going to the pharmacy every week?
Find out if you can get a 90 day supply from your pharmacy.
Find out about Walgreens 3 Month Supply.
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- Pill Identifier - Drugs.com
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- Ask a Patient: Medicine Ratings and Health Care Opinions
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Any questions on how to fill a pill organizer? - Or maybe you have some tips you'd like to share?
Judy Bee on March 13, 2016:
Thank you for this comprehensive advice on how to fill a pill box. I find it a daunting weekly task, and will use your suggestions.
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on March 22, 2012:
Your lens title caught my eye. This is great advice, very well presented. I'm sure many people will benefit. Blessed!