A woman fills a pill organizer

Organizing CF Medications

Last updated: January 2023

I have moved less than a handful of times in my life. Most of my moves have been since I got married. We have lived in a total of three different places in different cities. And one thing that was constant was organizing all my medications in our new home efficiently.

Having cystic fibrosis (CF) means a lot of things. It means having a medical team that you sometimes see more than your family. Living with CF means knowing your way around a hospital cafeteria. And it also means having more medicine that you know what do with.

But having that much medication does create unique issues. All medications have expiration dates. And medications can get lost. Organizing them in a manner that best suits you can help lower stress. Additionally, it can help you manage refills and not lose a medication because it has expired.

But how do you organize something that has different needs? For example, some meds must be kept in the dark. And others are temperature sensitive. While others take up so much room! Let’s go over some organizing tips that can help troubleshoot these issues.

Pill organizer

One thing that helped me organize my meds is having a pill organizer. I am sure you have seen one before. They have sections labeled for each day of the week. You place your daily allotment of pills in the section and close it shut. Then when it is time to take your meds, you simply open that day’s section and your medication is ready to take!

This has helped me organized my weekly meds. The one I use has both morning and night sections for each day of the week. Having a week’s worth of medication ready to go each Sunday helps me stay compliant with my oral medications. Additionally, it allows my husband to grab my pills for me if I am feeling bad and don’t have the ability to get my medications organized.

Two specific places for medications

In addition to having my weekly medications organized, I like to have two places to keep my medications. I do this to help keep the overflow under control and to help me keep track of medications. Let me explain.

Firstly, I have a cabinet in my kitchen that I keep all the open bottles for my oral medications. These are pills bottles that I have opened and are actively using on a day-to-day basis. They are easy to access for both me and my husband. The second place I store medication is in an indoor closet.

If I have a medication that comes in more than one bottle, I will place the extra ones in an indoor closet. This help me keep track of what I am running low on. It also helps me make sure I don’t have two bottles of the same medication open. Few things irritate me more than having two bottles of the same medication open.

Label, label, label

In addition to keeping my medications in two specific places, I label all the lids. A lot of my pill bottles look the same. And looking through all of them to find the one I need can be tedious.

I keep my medications up right in a box because it takes up less space both in the kitchen and in my indoor closet. Because I keep my meds upright, I label the lids so I can easily find what I am looking for. Additionally, I will write the expiration date of the medication on the lid, too. For example, if my medication expires January 01, 2023, I will write 01/2023. This helps me keep track of which bottles I need to empty first so I won’t lose medication because it has expired.

Bulky items

Having CF means that you don’t just take pills. You also have large boxes of inhaled medication that you need to organize. Much like my oral meds, I keep my boxes of inhaled medications in two places.

I keep my currently used, open box of inhaled medications on my treatment cart. That way I have easy access to them during my daily treatments. The extra boxes I keep in the same closest as my extra bottles of medication. And I label them, too. Everything is centrally located to make things as easy as possible.

If you are wanting to organize your medications, but don’t know where to start, research some ideas. Pinterest is a great site for ideas. Additionally, you can type into any search engine “medication organization” and many great ideas will be at your fingertips!

Living with CF means you take a lot of medications. And it is important to keep your medications organized. Figuring out a way that works best for you takes time. I didn’t have this organizational system until a few years ago and it has made a world of difference.

Do you have tips for organizing CF medications? Will you try out some of Katelyn's ideas? Share in the comments below!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Cystic-Fibrosis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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