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Pill Compliance

Some pills are relatively easy but some are difficult. Here's what I've gone through recently on a difficult pill. I'll put some suggestions for helping ALL patients at the end.

I was recently prescribed Requip. You take it 90 minutes before you go to bed. Also, you are not supposed to drive until you know how Requip affects you. By the way, it makes me drowsy.

Here's the problem. I try to go to bed at 10:00 pm every night, but two nights a week I have dog class and they end about 9:00 and I have a one hour drive afterwards. I also found that Requip does make me drowsy. A good thing if I am at home.

The first problem was remember to take the pill at 8:30. The good news is that I can set my pump to remind me to do something (though it doesn't tell me what), at a certain time. So I set my pump for 8:30.

On the nights I have to drive, I take the two pills on the exit I take to get to my house. There are enough ways to get home from there, that even if there is some type of road block I can get home before I get drowsy.

First problem -- sometimes I couldn't remember if I took my pill. Knowing that it makes me drowsy and that taking it twice would be a really bad thing -- I did it once it was not good -- I was skipping taking it.

Unfortunately those pill containers marked by the day of the week have a problem -- one they are too big for my purse. However before my last trip, I found some lovely little plastic bags that can be marked by the day of the week and time of the day. I used some of those, but they are hard to handle and you have to work at figuring out if you took the pill.

The good news, is that I came across a smaller container that is marked by the day of the week.

So here's how I ultimately solved the problem -- first, I use an alarm that is present and with me at all times to remind me, and second was the smaller container to hold the pills.

For ALL patients:

I recommend those day of the week pill containers. I use a seperate one for morning and evening. The best thing about them is that they prevent overdoses as you can tell at a glance if you took it.

For traveling, I recommend the little plastic bags. The above pill containers do come open. Yes you should take something to indicate that they are prescription drugs. I print out the pages from the mail order pharmacy I use.

Finally for weirdly timed pills, use some type of alarm to remind you. It needs to be with you at the time you need to take the medication.

A smart pharmacutical company, pharmacy, or doctor's office would purchase them and get their name imprinted on them and give them free to patients. This would even be a good thing for the ADA or DLife to produce.