AARP Expert

Keeping track of medications

When managing your own or a loved one's medications, there is a relatively simple way to keep track of what is taken routinely and which are for short term, like antibiotics. 


When you or your care-recipient finishes a medication, put the empty bottle in a see through zip lock bag, and if there were any side effects, write them on a piece of paper and put in the bottle. "Constipation for 3 days", or "sleepiness."  Before you put the pill bottle in the bag, call in the refill with 3 to 5 workdays in advance so the pharmacy and the prescribing provider can get to it right away. If it is a short term drug, you can write down: "for gout flare" in a bottle of prednisone, for example, or "tooth abscess infection" on a bottle of antibiotics. When you have an appointment with the primary care provider or a specialist, grab the bag. If there are duplicates, like 3 empty bottles of metformin, pitch out the oldest empty bottles.


You and your providers will be glad to have the information all together in a simple bag.

Social Butterfly

What should I include in the note for my little blue pills?

AARP Expert

A good time was had by all?

Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

"I downloaded AARP Perks to assist in staying connected and never missing out on a discount!" -LeeshaD341679

AARP Perks

Test Your Knowledge, Score Big. New Game Each Day!

AARP's new Right Again! Trivia game - part trivia, part puzzle, all fun! Special opportunities for AARP Members and Rewards participants. Play Now.

AARP Right Again! Trivia

AARP Rewards

Sync your smartphone or favorite tracker with AARP Rewards to earn points for hitting steps, swimming and cycling milestones Sync Now.

AARP Rewards Badge

Music and Brain Health

From soft jazz to hard rock - discover music's mental, social and physical benefits. Learn more.

Music and Brain Health