The Pill Organizer: A Comprehensive Guide

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Dive into our comprehensive guide on pill organizers. Understand their advantages, limitations, and how they can streamline your medication management. Find the perfect pill organizer that aligns with your health needs and lifestyle.

What is a Pill Box?

Pill organizers, also known as pill boxes or pill cases, are storage containers with one or more separate compartments designed to hold medications in pill or capsule form. They are readily available online or in drug stores across the United States. A pill case, available in various shapes like bottles and boxes, provides different compartment sizes to cater to diverse medication regimens [1][2].

The advantages that come with most pill boxes include:

  • Easing the process of managing medications
  • Assisting in adhering to the medication schedule prescribed by your healthcare provider
  • Preventing missed doses and other medication mishaps [3]

Weekly pill organizer

Exploring Different Types of Pill Organizers

How many pills can they store?

Weekly Pill Organizers

In its simplest form, a weekly pill case is a plastic box designed to hold a week's worth of medication. These pill boxes typically feature seven individual compartments, each marked with a day of the week. Some models even have larger compartments to accommodate larger pills or additional items like vitamins and supplements. Certain designs also incorporate a sliding mechanism for easy opening, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals with movement limitations [3][4].

Monthly Pill Organizers

For those managing a more extensive medication schedule, monthly pill box organizers are available. These are larger than their weekly counterparts and use different colors and symbols to identify the week, day, and time of day (morning, afternoon, and night). The added benefit of a monthly pill container is that it can store a whole month's worth of medication, making it a convenient choice for those with a more complex medication regimen [4].

Pill Organizers with Reminder Alarms

Some pill organizers come equipped with a reminder alarm, a handy feature that alerts you when it's time to take a dosage of your medication. The alarm will typically beep or light up the organizer's screen until you take your dose [4].

Locking Pill Boxes

These organizers feature a lock or PIN for accessing and dispensing medications. They are particularly useful if you're concerned about others accessing your medications [4].

Challenges and Safety Considerations with Pill Organizers

Despite their popularity, studies show that only 53% to 68% of older adults correctly use their medications while using pill organizers. The most common mistake is taking medicine from the wrong compartment, which can disrupt the entire week's schedule [6].

Despite their widespread use, there are no recommendations for or against the use of pill organizers. And according to some experts and scientific studies, they may not even be the best option for everyone [5].

For example, older adults or individuals with motor or cognitive impairments may struggle to open pill organizers and access needed pills. In some cases, they may attempt to flip the pill organizer onto their other hand, causing pills to fall out or get mixed up, especially when the organizer has one lid covering all compartments [6].

Another common issue is that the same compartment often stores multiple pills. If you need to skip or switch out one of your meds, these tasks can become challenging when faced with a cluster of identical white pills. Additionally, weekly pill organizers may not be the best choice for those who need to separate medications to be taken before and after meals [6].

Moreover, filling up a pill organizer can be time-consuming and requires some understanding of how to organize and handle a weekly schedule. Although pill organizers with alarms can aid medication adherence, some users report that the alarm often triggers at the wrong time, the electronic display is small and difficult to see, and the buttons are small and hard to press [6].

Finally, one study observed that the ink marking the days of the week on each compartment wore off after two weeks of use, increasing the potential for medication errors [6].

Complex med schedule? We solved it.

Hero’s smart dispenser reminds you to take your meds and dispenses the right dose, at the right time.

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Meet Hero: A Revolutionary Approach to Medication Management

Did you know there's a more efficient way to manage your medications?

Hero is an all-inclusive service on a mission to simplify medication management. A Hero subscription includes an award-winning smart automatic pill dispenser, which holds, sorts, and dispenses up to a 90-day supply of 10 different medications according to schedule.

Setting up Hero is straightforward; simply add your medication list to the Hero app and load your meds into the dispenser's easy-to-use containers. When it's time for a dose, the Hero smart dispenser lights up and sounds an alert; you just push one button to dispense your dose! You'll also receive pill time reminders and missed-dose alerts in the app, plus receive personalized medication adherence reports to track your progress. This makes it much easier to take the right meds at the right time!

The Final Verdict on Pill Organizers

While pill organizers can be suitable for those who take multiple medications and need to keep them in order, they may not always be the best option. An automatic smart dispenser – like the one included in a Hero subscription – simplifies medication handling and may help you better stay on top of your meds.


  1. Borja-Oliveira CR de. Pill organizers and pill cutters: risks and limitations. Revista de Saúde Pública. 2013;47:123–7.
  2. Medline Plus. Keeping your medicines organized. 2020.
  3. Huang H-Y, Maguire MG, Miller III ER, Appel LJ. Impact of Pill Organizers and Blister Packs on Adherence to Pill Taking in Two Vitamin Supplementation Trials. American Journal of Epidemiology [Internet]. 2000 Oct 15;152(8):780–7. Available from:
  4. Forbes Health. How To Choose The Best Pill Organizer For You. 2021.
  5. Dowden A. Do pill organisers improve medication adherence? 2020.
  6. e Souza FRD, da Silva Santana C. A descriptive study about the use of pillboxes by older adults. Health N Hav. 2013;2013

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The contents of the above article are for informational and educational purposes only. The article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified clinician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or its treatment and do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of information published by us. Hero is indicated for medication dispensing for general use and not for patients with any specific disease or condition. Any reference to specific conditions are for informational purposes only and are not indications for use of the device.