Non-cavernous pill organizers
December 4, 2009 1:03 PM   Subscribe

I've recently started a very-long-term daily medication. I'd like to keep the pills in some sort of daily/weekly organizer. All of the pill boxes in the drug store are of the gigantic, multiple-horse-pill, large-print variety -- much larger than what I want or need. Where can I buy/how can I make a pill box that holds just one small pill for each day?

I'm a college student who moves around a fair bit, so something that can withstand being kicked around in a backpack or duffel bag would be nice, too.
posted by Commander Rachek to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you really want compact, you could just make a ritual of counting out seven pills each sunday morning, so you'd know how many were there. It would be the smallest option, and knowing the day of the week would let you pretty easily figure out your pills.

Also, I think that I've seen some smaller pill containers that are round, rather than the long thin one, but twist to a compartment for each day. Maybe at the container store? They also have small acrylic jars (1" diameter) that would work for the sunday-start seven-pill routine.
posted by mercredi at 1:06 PM on December 4, 2009

For the seven-pills, one box, weekly option:

clear and round 1 1/2" (durable, screw-top, my vote)

small white opaque rectangle (though I'd be less sure that this would stay closed than the screw top one above)

other container store options . . .
posted by mercredi at 1:12 PM on December 4, 2009

Or you could get an advent calender and replace the chocolate with pills...
posted by foodgeek at 1:14 PM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

If you do the count-out-on-Sunday option, any small container would work, like an Altoids Tiny Tin. But keep in mind that with any pill container you carry that isn't your prescription bottle, you may get the stink-eye or worse if searched.
posted by vilthuril at 1:17 PM on December 4, 2009

Up here in Canada, drugstores and dollar stores have a multitude of pillbox sizes. A common small one I've seen has an almost square one with four compartments on each side (7 days plus an extra for... ?). It's as small as an Altoids tin. I'd imagine there must be some chain down there that has these; I see them lots of places here.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 1:22 PM on December 4, 2009

' almost square layout' that is.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 1:23 PM on December 4, 2009

Wow, have you looked here? There are a ton of cute little options.
posted by cabingirl at 1:39 PM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Start taking a daily multivitamin or two, and you can put that in each day's holder, which makes them not as uselessly big.
posted by smackfu at 1:43 PM on December 4, 2009

Add cotton wool to aforementioned small pill box to reduce rattling.
posted by macg02 at 1:54 PM on December 4, 2009

If there's no restriction on precisely WHEN you take it...I highly recommend the "take it when I brush my teeth in the morning" routine, it makes it almost impossible to forget!

If you really need an organizer with 7 slots, try
posted by tristeza at 2:05 PM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Amazon has a decent variety of pill boxes. I personally use this box but I've also found a couple more that are great if you want different boxes for different days.
posted by Clytie at 2:15 PM on December 4, 2009

Response by poster: I'm highly intrigued by the idea of the single box for seven pills -- I like the compactness and sturdiness -- but I'm hesitant to keep them in any container where somebody else might mistake them for candy or mints (or recreational drugs). Such a thing might be good for backpacking, though, especially one with a screw-top rather than a snap closure, like the one mercredi linked to.

What Hardcore Poser described sounds about like what I'm looking for for everyday use. Anybody know of a US chain that carries something like that?
posted by Commander Rachek at 2:42 PM on December 4, 2009

re-use a birth-control dial pack
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:59 PM on December 4, 2009

Scanning through Amazon turned up this. 2 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 1/2 small enough?

Here's a tip: When my mom travels, I put a cotton ball in each compartment and put the containers in a sock. No rattles, and the compartments can't open.
posted by Marky at 3:26 PM on December 4, 2009

This one is similar to what I've seen. 2 1/2" x 2 1/4" x 1/2; pretty compact.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 3:33 PM on December 4, 2009

Do the pills come in a bubble pack? I wrote the initials of the day on the back, so I could tell whether I'd taken them or not.
posted by b33j at 4:08 PM on December 4, 2009

I've seen the boxes you want at a Japanese chain store (Daiso), but the stores aren't actually nation-wide. In my experience, each drugstore's stock varies as well. I'd check a bunch of difference places whenever you're out and about. Most places that sell painkillers will probably have at least one or two pill cases.

For what it's worth, I've also heard that you're not supposed to keep pills with cotton. The cotton absorbs moisture, which is bad for the pills. This was regarding things like Tylenol (that come packaged with the wad of cotton on the top), so I'm not sure how this translates to frequent/daily use.
posted by mittenedsex at 6:12 PM on December 4, 2009

I save the cases that come with my contact lens solution and mark one side M-am other M-pm (and tyhe rest of the week). Then I keep them in my kitchen next to the coffee maker / stove. That way I see them at pill taking times.
posted by chairish at 6:27 PM on December 4, 2009

There are lots of really interesting, counterculture, single-compartment pill cases available on etsy. Also, try ebay for super-cheap cases, or weird Hello Kitty or other nontraditional pillcases (there is a store that sells really cute 8-compartment ones that have panda-print fabric on the outside -- most pillboxes are just so ugly). I know that there ARE mini versions of the 7-day horse-pill cases (since I have a few around the house that I can no longer use -- I'll clean one and mail one if you want!) My last tip: all drugstore chains have surprisingly different (from chain to chain) sizes of the 7-day ones. So if you ever need to replace a specific size, bring the old one along with you . . .
posted by oldtimey at 7:36 PM on December 4, 2009

I used this one for years and loved it, it's pretty compact. Though I had to take five pills per day; if I had only had ONE pill per day to take, I would have just put 7 pills into a single-compartment pillbox on Saturday evening before bed.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:09 PM on December 4, 2009

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