Consumer Reports: Staying on track with medications - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Consumer Reports: Staying on track with medications

(Source: WSFA 12 News File Video) (Source: WSFA 12 News File Video)
WSFA/CONSUMER REPORTS -

More than half of Americans take four prescription medications on average, and it's easy and dangerous to miss taking one of those medications.

Between prescription medications and over the counter products, Susan Miles takes about 15 pills a day. Until she found the right pill organizer, she would sometimes miss a dose.

"The size of the pouches can hold at least my 15 pills and that's very important for me," said Miles. "I know what I'm taking and I don't miss any pills."

While it takes Susan some time each month to fill the pouches, she says it's worth it to avoid making mistakes.

"Mistakes can easily happen. A study shows that taking five or more medications increases your risk of errors, like taking the wrong drug or taking it at the wrong time," said Lisa Gill with Consumer Reports.

Some independently owned drug stores and a handful of some chain pharmacies offer a "blister pack" service, sorting medications according to when they should be taken. It's especially useful with more complicated regimens. Online pharmacies can also help with mailed medications.

"We looked into a free service by an online pharmacy called Pillpack that syncs up your prescriptions so they refill at the same time," said Gill. "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 and accepts most insurance. However, the Pillpack service does not fill drugs that can cause dependency 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.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.

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