Pill Packaging

stickywicket Member Posts: 27,309
edited 29. Jul 2019, 05:30 in Living with arthritis
I've coped for years. If they're in childproof containers either ask the kids :roll: or ask the pharmacist to use a non-childproof top. If they're in bubble wrap score the underside with a fingernail before pressing out. Or buy a gadget for it.

My last lot of methotrexate annoyed me. Instead of the usual 'bottle' it came in bubbles. And the tablets were even smaller than the usual titchy meth ones which even I can swallow several at a time. Freeing these 'medical specks' from the tiniest of bubbles is a nightmare. Bear in mind that one of meth's main uses is for RA and that RA typically starts in fingers - what clown thought of this as a solution to anything?

This morning, having wrestled with the meth yesterday (with sweaty fingers, I might add) I came to a new box of folic acid. Now sealed at both ends :shock: Why? I can just about grasp the need for care with opioids but F.A.? Who would want to nick any F.A.? Why? It's a cheap supplement. I had to attack it with a knife and a great deal of venom.

I am disabled. I deal with my disability every day and I think I make a pretty good fist of it. Why do the meds, designed to help, actually make me feel more disabled?

I am a grumpy old woman :mrgreen:


  • crinkly1
    crinkly1 Member Posts: 156
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi SW and others.

    I do my best not to 'grump' but am entirely with you on this one.

    My last prescription for a very innocuous drug also came in small cardboard packs with both ends firmly sealed, requiring a search for a suitable small sharp knife and an accompanying grrrrr.

    I take early morning medication for post-operative hypothyroidism and need two tablets to make up the full dose. One tablet is for a very small amount of the drug and, depending on the manufacturer who supplies the local pharmacy, it can be the tiniest pill imaginable. While I now know to keep a little knife handy when starting a new pack and keep thumbnails deliberately shaped to break through the foil packaging I frequently then drop this tiny pill and end up searching the floor for it, hoping that if found I can then actually pick it up. With OA in most joints this is indeed a challenge first thing in the morning and several have ended up in the vacuum cleaner. More grrrrrs!

    I don't like starting the day in grumpy mode so maybe there are grounds for challenging pharmacies a) on grounds of using excessive packaging and b) to keep notes of individual patients' specific packaging needs. We tend to try to fit in with the completely AB world and choose not to be assertive because that demands energy that we'd rather prioritise in more positive activity.

    Perhaps it's time we made a concerted effort to address these relatively small issues.

    From a grumpy Crinkly1
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think you're right, Crinkly. Grumping might make us feel temporarily better but only until we start fighting the next packet of pills.

    Maybe, if sufficient people asked the pharmacists to open up their packets / not give them almost-invisible bubble packs, the pharmacists themselves themselves might take action.

    Unfortunately, I can't access my local pharmacy (You couldn't make it up, could you :roll: ) but, on the rare occasions when I've had to ring, he's been lovely. I need to put in a prescription request over the weekend. I shall have a think while doing it as to how to get in touch.

    Thank you for replying and making me fell less alone with this.

    How's the vac? No thyroid problems, I guess :wink:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am fortunate in that I can usually manage OK but when things are tough I open my pills over a large bowl. They land safely and can be easily picked up with a damp finger tip.

    I keep my open meds in a Tupperware box together with a small sharp pair of sewing scissors, a Stanley knife and a biro. When I get my new boxes I open them all at both ends using either the scissors or the Stanley, put them back in the pharmacy bag then they're ready when needed.

    When I have BP meds with the days of the week I open my non-'dayed' meds following the same pattern of removal: when all three daily meds are day-free I write the initials of the days of the week on one box and cross them off as I take them. It's a busy old life, isn't it? :lol: DD
  • BettyMac
    BettyMac Member Posts: 184
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've commented before on the sheer stupidity of the new Benepali packaging. Anyone with duff thumbs, like wot I have, will struggle to open the boxes.
    There must be a happy medium between not having the syringes fall out of the boxes willy-nilly and actually being able to get them out when required.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    DD - I think your method would be a good one for many on here. Not for me, though, as I need both hand / wrists firmly anchored on a table or unit top to get any purchase at all with my fingers. With your method I'd just end up having to get my grabber to pick a bowl up from the floor alongside the pills :lol:

    I keep my meds in a drawer and struggle to shove them all in without the hazard of a Stanley knife. Besides, Mr SW would only nick it. Yes, he has one of his own but never knows where it is. He'd always know where mine was - except when he'd used it in which case neither of us would :roll:

    I totally ignore 'days'. I just start at the top and work my way down. Fortunately, I take all essential meds first thing so am unlikely to forget where I'm at.

    Licked finger tips are essential for tiny pills and duff hands. I can get all my meth tablets into my mouth in one go :lol:

    BettyMac - "There must be a happy medium between not having the syringes fall out of the boxes willy-nilly and actually being able to get them out when required" So obvious to you, me and everyone else on here :roll: Clearly not so obvious to those designing the packaging. At least until they need them themselves.
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I put all my pills in a proprietary tablet box which holds AM and PM as I often have trouble knowing what day it is ....... such is how exciting my life is sat in my recliner in front of the TV most days. Anyway I only have to struggle on getting the pills out of the bubble packs once a week. I have asked my Pharmacy (which is within the surgery) if they could provide me with my meds in bottles but they can't as they don't come that way, and they said that they are not allowed to take the meds out of the bubble packs for me. I have tried so called "pill popper gadgets" but they are useless as they need thumbs and mine don't work. I have found this one on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pivotell-Pill-Popper-Tablets-Quickly/dp/B07GJQTYMC/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_121_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=98YRZT0WBQ21W3MAWPQM but at £25 I am loath to try it, does anyone have one?
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I use a tablet sorter which I fill up twice a week. I can't be bothered fiddling about with numerous boxes every day. I'm thankful that, at the moment, my fingers aren't too badly affected by my OA, although I do have "gripper pads" for opening jars in the kitchen as my grip isn't that good for that task.

    Sometimes I think manufacturers don't have any idea of what it's like to have non-co-operative joints. If only they "walked in our shoes for a week" …

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can't imagine the state my fingers would be in if I tried to sort out a week's worth at once. I guess it's just what suits us as individuals.

    Mike - I checked your link and agree with you. I'm not convinced and it's quite pricey for a gamble. I'm also fairly confident I couldn't squeeze the handle. My only grip is between thumb and palm. It does get good reviews, though, so clearly helps some.