Painkiller blister packs

Do any of you with thumb arthritis struggle to push the tablets out of the blister packs?!?!

I'm not asking for any miracle solutions but would just like to know I'm not alone in my frustration.


  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 393

    Hi @Ange66

    Yes, I've struggled since long before I had my trapeziectomy and still do. I usually ask my husband to do it for me when I'm struggling but I do also transfer them into a small daily medication box. I know I shouldn't but they should make these stupid blister packs easier to open when I'm in pain!!!

    I also have a 7 day medicine box with 5 slots in that I put my daily meds in as most of those are in blister packs. My husband will do them for me but I get up at 6 and he gets up at 9 so if they've run out I still have to do them myself before I can take them. I could put the paracetamol in a 'as needed' slot in my medicine box but don't want to do that with the paracetamol as it might encourage me to take them when the pain isn't really bad enough to take them so they're in a separate box and kept separately.

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • Phil09
    Phil09 Member Posts: 2

    I struggle with this too, now I use a small kitchen knife to cut the back off my pack. Previously I got my tablets in blister bags and I used scissors ✂️ to cut the bag albeit using scissors isn’t easy for everyone.

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,486

    Good Morning @Phil09 welcome to the online Community.

    I see you are also struggling to get tablets out of blister packs. I see you have come up with your own method for getting at yours. Knives can be a bit dangerous for those of us with Arthritis. I just wanted to let you know there are other options if you aren't lucky enough to have a partner like @Trish9556 .

    It is possible to buy pill removing gadgets. Just pop that phrase into a search engine online and you'll see what I mean.

    I don't know whether this is of interest to you?

    I hope you'll decide to continue posting now you have made your first post.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,035

    And all that plastic too has to be bad for the environment!😠

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608

    You are not alone. Far from it! And it's, everything, not just pain relief.

    I'm old enough to remember the day when all pills came in a little jar to be taken back to the chemist when empty. Only my methotrexate comes in a jar now, the ones with a childproof top that you have to get your kids to open for you😉 And it's not returnable.

    I've had a pill pusher thing and it was useless. Only designed for one shape of pill and mine come in many shapes and sizes. If anyone has a good one I'd be interested in details.

    So, I also turn the blister packs over and insert the pointed end of a small knife then peel back the foil.

    @frogmorton, how I agree! Here in Scotland they're trying to make the polluter pay or, at least, sort out their own recycling but blister packs are a problem as I think it's the NHS requires specialist recycling because of the dangers lurking therein. So twice now we've been able to recycle them briefly and then it's all stopped again.

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  • JenHB
    JenHB Member Posts: 130

    I know my local cafe (currently) recycles blister packs.

    Re the 'childproof' cap - I work in a chemistry lab and in the past have done analytical testing on various cough mixtures and we joke that the bottles are analyst proof!

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    Pushing the little b&££ers out is not the problem it’s finding them on the floor cos I drop them 9/10 times!

    it’s a grin, honest!

  • Louisa77
    Louisa77 Administrator Posts: 245

    I'm fortunate not to have arthritis in my hands but I still struggle and use my nails to pierce the foil

    Need more help? Call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • MarkInSussex
    MarkInSussex Member Posts: 31

    yup, struggle with those awful packs on a daily basis, not too bad with some of the bigger pills as the blister is bigger giving more leverage, but small ones like Codeine end up flying everywhere, i find the worst ones at the moment to be the Omeprazole blister packs, they have changed to an awful design, it's like playing the lottery when you pop those little blighters open as the capsule within goes in a different direction each time, as someone posted above pills used to come in reusable jars, so much easier and of course a whole lot more environmentally friendly.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 612

    Hi @airwave

    I had the same problem with my multi medication blister packs but my wife came up with the solution - she works part time in a respite centre for autistic children so it's the way they do it. I have a wide mouth plastic cup that I sit onto a tray with a reasonably big lip and then put the blister pack over the cup and press the blister. Any pills that miss the cup are retained by the tray lip.

  • Nfk_gal0617
    Nfk_gal0617 Member Posts: 39

    Not alone for sure. Must be somebody out there with a solution, would be quiete a money spinner I would think.

    I'm lucky, I have others in the house to help when I have flares, Oh to be independant......

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 612

    Hi @Ange66

    Sorry my previous reply was regarding my pharmacy made up blister pack - also known as a dosette box - where I've got 6 different drugs in the one blister. For single tablet blister pack opening I've got one of these.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733
    edited 10. Mar 2023, 14:53

    Has anyone worked out how to open the "childproof" plastic tubs of detergent capsules? I have to cut all the tabs off, I've never managed to master them all yet and end up ripping the lid off completely, frame and all. Even with all but one of the tabs off I still struggle, and I don't have arthritic hands. Any children turning up in our household will have to learn the hard way not to eat persil.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,035

    Oh dear @Lilymary what a mess!

    Luckily for me I use refillable bottles from the plastic free shop in town. Not everyone has access to one of these and they do a whole lot of recycling there too including blister packs ATM, but for how long @stickywicket I have no idea🙄

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    @frogmorton , Superdrug were recycling blister packs, but our local branch has closed down. Pre THR I felt like I could have filled the recycling box on my own! I can’t find anywhere else that recycles them now, sadly.