Photo of a pill organizer
  • Ask the pharmacist to explain the prescription. Inquire about the dose, best time to take the medication and possible side effects. Record the information -- along with any known drug allergies and refill instructions -- in a medication log using a format you can access: braille, large print or audio cassette. Include medical emergency contact phone numbers.

  • Keep a print copy of your medication log. Always bring it with you when visiting a doctor or filling a prescription to guard against possible drug interactions.

  • Label containers to differentiate among medicines and ensure proper use. Select a method that's easy to understand and remember. Use braille, large print, numbers, color codings or tactile markings. You can purchase commercial-labeling products as well. Whatever system you choose, be consistent.

  • Try to remember pills by their unique shape, size and, if applicable, color, as a back up.

  • Take advantage of medication organizers available in drug stores or specialty catalogs. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and contrasting colors. Or ask your pharmacist to use different size bottles when dispensing similar-shaped pills. And, should you need it, you can purchase eye drop guides for help self-adminstering eye medications.

  • Wrap rubber bands around the bottle equaling the number of daily doses. This will help you remember if you've taken the right amount. Remove one band each time you take the medication, and replace all of them for the following day. Or, consider a pill organizer with a beeping alarm to alert you that it's time for the next dose.

  • Seek assistance if you're unsure of what to take and when.



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