5 Easy Ways to Manage and Organize Your Medication

When you take a lot of different medications, keeping them organized can be difficult. It can be overwhelming to remember the names of medications, why you take them, and how often you need to take them.

Taking multiple medications puts you at risk for a medication error. This can range from missing a dose to taking too much (an overdose). Managing your medication can help reduce potentially life-threatening errors.

The key to successfully managing your medications is through organization. These organizational tips will help ensure your medications are taken safely and at the right time.

Use a Daily Pill Organizer

Older adult looking at his medication

mother image/Getty Images 

A pill organizer can be beneficial if you take many types of medications each day. They often have seven or more compartments holding each day's worth of drugs.

To ensure medication is taken on time, keep a dosage schedule nearby that includes a physical description of each pill, such as "blue capsule" or "large white pill."

Create a Dosing Schedule Chart

Another way to effectively manage medication is to create a medication schedule chart. This can be done on your computer with a spreadsheet or word processing program.

List all of your medications, the times they need to be taken, and space by each dose, so you can check off when each is taken. For those meds that are given "as needed," you may also want to include why it is taken.

It can also be helpful to note those that require either refrigeration or freezing.

Keep a Detailed List

Make a list of all medications you take, with the name, dosage, frequency, side effects, and whether the drug has been stopped. Also, include any allergies you have to medications.

Save a copy on your computer or mobile device so you can add to it if prescribed new medications, and print out more copies as needed.

Medication List

Make several copies of your medication list and give them to your healthcare providers at appointments and your pharmacist.

Use a Medication Reminder App

Various apps can help you manage your medications if you use a smartphone or tablet. For example, some apps let you look up information about the drug, set up a medication schedule, and get reminders to take your pills.

There are several electronic pill reminders on the market of varying prices. You can input the name of the medication, how often you need to take it, and if you need to take it with food.

Some apps make a sound, like an alarm clock, to remind you to take specific medications. Other apps have an audio voice message feature that can be particularly helpful for people with vision impairments.

Check Prescription Labels Often

When looking at prescription labels, check the expiration date and refill information. Properly discard old medication. When running low on a medication that has an available refill, call your pharmacist before you run out. This way, you will not miss any doses.

If you think you may need a refill on a medication that has no refills left, call your healthcare provider's office as soon as possible to allow time for them to contact the pharmacist.


Taking multiple medications requires a little organization to help keep them straight and take them correctly. Staying organized can help reduce the possibility of making an error with your medicines.

Tools such as a pill box or planner, spreadsheets, lists, and apps can help keep you organized and take your medications correctly.

A Word From Verywell

Managing multiple medications can be very stressful and lead to confusion. You want to do what you can to prevent any medication errors. In addition to the tips listed above, asking a family member or friend to help you organize your medications may be valuable.

By Julie Scott, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP
Julie is an Adult Nurse Practitioner with oncology certification and a healthcare freelance writer with an interest in educating patients and the healthcare community.

Originally written by Lisa Fayed