Why should I use a pillbox?

Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine

Finding a pill dispenser that works for you can simplify your life and increase your success with medication compliance.

Many times doctors prescribe multiple medications: One is daily, another twice a day, and yet another may be before meals and bedtime. Before you know it, you are supposed to take a half a dozen pills per day.

In a perfect world, pills would not interact with each other or with meals, and they could be given once per day. In reality, many medications do not play well in the stomach together and must be separated.

The basic pillbox that has a separate compartment for each day is lovely. Don't feel you need to qualify for Medicare before you purchase one. There is a good reason birth control pills come in a dispenser that is labeled by day. How many times have you wondered, "Gee, did I take my pill today?" Well, the same is true for vitamins, calcium supplements, and prescription medications of all sorts.

Find a pill dispenser that works for you. If you have multiple medications, consider one that reminds you. There are wonderful contraptions that you can set up with a week or more of pills, and then an alarm will go off up to four times per day, letting you know that your pills are ready for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.