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Organize your Rx and OTC pills

More than half of Americans take 4 prescription meds on average.  It’s easy and dangerous to miss taking one of your medications. Daily pill organizers can help, but you might need something bigger if you take more than 4 pills a day.

Consumer Reports found some pharmacies have developed new ways to organize your pills in customized packaging that can help you stay on track because mistakes can easily happen. A study shows that taking 5 or more medications increases your risk of errors like taking the wrong drug or taking it at the wrong time.

Some independently owned drug stores and a handful of some chain pharmacies offer a ‘blister pack’ service sorting your medications according to when you should take them. It’s especially useful with more complicated regimens. You can also find online pharmacies that can help with mailed medications.

CR looked into a free service by an online pharmacy called Pillpack that syncs up your prescriptions so they refill at the same time. Then they organize them into individualized packets based on the time of day that you take them.  And then they ship them to you. Pillpack also can add in any most over the counter drugs and supplements you take and accepts most insurance. However, the Pillpack service does not fill drugs that can cause dependencies like the pain reliever Vicodin or the ADHD drug Adderall.

If you like apps to help you get organized, Consumer Reports looked at several that are worth a try. Two of them -- Medisafe and MyTherapy -- also can send phone alerts to caregivers and family members if you miss a pill.

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