Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Questions About Treatment & Side Effects

Question about forgetting whether a pill was taken

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dowellndoubtnot:
Hey all, my bf has been on atripla for close to 9 months now I believe, and he has religiously taken the pill every night, has a great routine, and everything seems to be going great (he is now UD and CD4s going up). However, one night last week, for whatever reason he was not totally sure whether he had taken his medication. He is pretty certain he did, but not 100% as usual because he could not count the remaining meds because of a combination of reasons...but anyway, my question is...if that situation were to arise again...is it better to risk skipping a dose if you're not sure you've taken it, or is it better to risk taking two pills?

Jeff G:
I would say it wouldn't hurt to miss a dose of Atripla now and then . I would rather miss a dose of this particular med rather than double up , but that's just me .

Get a pill organizer and this will not happen . I just bought a new one that you can separate a days dose from the organizer to take on the run ... a days compartment slides out to take with .

Ann:
One type of pill container that I think everyone on a once-a-day dosing combo should consider using is "weekly", but contains four compartments in each day's section. They usually look something like this:



It can be filled up with four weeks worth of meds. You just start at the top row (morning) and take the meds for that day, the second week you're on the next row down (noon) and so on until you reach the end of the month. With one of these, you only have to fill the tray once a month instead of every week. You can tell at a glance if you've had your meds that day.

The bottles that our meds come in usually have thirty pills, so you can use the two extra pills to put in an emergency stash that you keep with you at all times. A lot of people use little containers that you can add to your keychain, like one of these:



These types of containers are inexpensive and can be found in most drugs stores, or shops like Walmart, in their OTC med aisles. They're also widely available online - just google "pill tray".

I'd highly recommend you either buy a tray and a key chain dispenser for him (you can make it a little "love you!" gift) or encourage him to buy them himself. They save so much stress and worry! I know mine do.

One small caveat - make sure if he also gets a container to keep with his keys, that he swaps the meds in it  out for fresh ones now and then when they don't get used (just put the old ones in the first day or two of the monthly tray).

By the way, when I end up using my emergency stash (I did just that on Wednesday), I take the meds from that day out of my med tray and put them in my emergency stash container, so I always have that emergency stash. It also stops confusion in wondering if I used my emergency stash that day or missed my meds that day.

There are other advantages to using a pill tray. One is having a very visible reminder that you're getting near to the end of your meds and (for those of you who have to order them every month or so) exactly how many days you have before you need to place your order. 

It's also a way to help you build up a supply of extra meds for times when your med delivery is a couple days late - because you're remembering to re-order your meds before twenty-eight days are up, rather than thirty. If you see what I mean. I hope I'm being clear. :o

And always remember - if you're building up an extra supply of meds, make sure you rotate them (always fill your tray up with your oldest meds first) so you don't end up with an extra supply of meds that have passed their use-by date.

Just FYI - I'm also on a once-a-day combo, but my combo involves four pills instead of one like Atripla.



edited to fix broken photo link

Larsen:
Taking pills becomes such a routine that you will forget whether you have taken them or not. As others have suggested, the easy solution is a simple pill organiser .. it needn't be one of the fancy ones and you should be able to pick up a cheap, but perfectly functional example, at a discount store.

gadawg1979:

--- Quote from: Ann on March 15, 2013, 07:07:50 AM ---One type of pill container that I think everyone on a once-a-day dosing combo should consider using is "weekly", but contains four compartments in each day's section. They usually look something like this:



It can be filled up with four weeks worth of meds. You just start at the top row (morning) and take the meds for that day, the second week you're on the next row down (noon) and so on until you reach the end of the month. With one of these, you only have to fill the tray once a month instead of every week. You can tell at a glance if you've had your meds that day.

The bottles that our meds come in usually have thirty pills, so you can use the two extra pills to put in an emergency stash that you keep with you at all times. A lot of people use little containers that you can add to your keychain, like one of these:



These types of containers are inexpensive and can be found in most drugs stores, or shops like Walmart, in their OTC med aisles. They're also widely available online - just google "pill tray".

I'd highly recommend you either buy a tray and a key chain dispenser for him (you can make it a little "love you!" gift) or encourage him to buy them himself. They save so much stress and worry! I know mine do.

One small caveat - make sure if he also gets a container to keep with his keys, that he swaps the meds in it  out for fresh ones now and then when they don't get used (just put the old ones in the first day or two of the monthly tray).

By the way, when I end up using my emergency stash (I did just that on Wednesday), I take the meds from that day out of my med tray and put them in my emergency stash container, so I always have that emergency stash. It also stops confusion in wondering if I used my emergency stash that day or missed my meds that day.

There are other advantages to using a pill tray. One is having a very visible reminder that you're getting near to the end of your meds and (for those of you who have to order them every month or so) exactly how many days you have before you need to place your order. 

It's also a way to help you build up a supply of extra meds for times when your med delivery is a couple days late - because you're remembering to re-order your meds before twenty-eight days are up, rather than thirty. If you see what I mean. I hope I'm being clear. :o

And always remember - if you're building up an extra supply of meds, make sure you rotate them (always fill your tray up with your oldest meds first) so you don't end up with an extra supply of meds that have passed their use-by date.

Just FYI - I'm also on a once-a-day combo, but my combo involves four pills instead of one like Atripla.



edited to fix broken photo link

--- End quote ---

I agree with ann and I have both of these.  I am also an end of the month pill counter.  Turns out last month I at some point must have doubled up... It does become routine and hard to remember.

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