Help With Taking Medication

Dosette Boxes

If you find taking your regular medicines complicated or you have alot of different tablets it may help to use a pill organizer or ‘dosette’ box.  These are plastic boxes with small compartments that clearly show which pills need to be taken at what time of day. They can cover one day or one week. These can be bought and can be filled by a friend or family member. Some boxes are available to buy which include alarms to remind when medication is due to be taken.

Filled dosette boxes are offered by some pharmacies. They are not always available for free on the NHS so you may be charged. Dosettes are not suitable for every type of medicine. Ask your pharmacist for more information if you think they could be helpful for you

Some online pharmacies will provide these but you need to contact them to check.

Pill Pouches on a Roll

Some pharmacies provide medicines in individual pouches. Each pouch holds the correct medicines for the time of day they are to be taken; for example, Friday morning. These pouches or sachets come on a roll in order. They are usually dispensed free of charge. Search online for ‘medication in pouches.’  

Tips on Managing Medication

Make sure you are organized with your medication: know what you take, when you take it and what it is for. Check if it needs to be taken with food or on an empty stomach. Check if it is safe to take with any supplements or medicines you buy over the counter.

Write your daily routine for medicines on a calendar or chart. Be sure to update the schedule each time your medicine changes. It is best to keep a list in a safe place at home, and a copy in your wallet, handbag or phone.

Pharmacists can provide help with this (either at the pharmacy or at the surgery)

  • Make sure you return medicines you are no longer taking to a pharmacy for safe disposal.
  • Medication reminders – you could set alarms on your phone to remind you when to take or re-order your medication.

The NHS has an app called Echo that can be downloaded and programmed to remind you about taking medication.

You could put a reminder note on your fridge or bedside table.

Often combining taking medication at the same time as a part of your daily routine - like brushing your teeth,  serves as a memory aid. 

  • Ordering -make sure you have a system for ordering medication in time. This could be online or by handing in a paper request to the surgery. Make sure you try to order at least 2 weeks before your medication runs out. Ask for extra if you know you will be going away. Repeat prescriptions can be ordered as a batch where regular monthly issues are sent automatically for dispensing. These are usually designed to stop when your medication review is due. Please ask the surgery pharmacy team about this. 
  • If you need help ordering your monthly prescriptions a relative or friend can do this for you online. They would need to apply for “Proxy” Online Access to your medical record for the purposes of ordering repeat prescriptions. They do not need to live in the area or be registered as a patient here.

Make sure you have a regular medication review

Practical tips if you care for someone