Virtually part of all adults in England took a minimum of one prescribed treatment previously week — and for plenty of, taking it isn’t easy. However there is an array of objects that declare to assist in making taking medicine more straightforward.
Adrian Monti requested Ben Merriman, a scientific pharmacist in Cumbria, and Mohammed Hussain, a neighborhood pharmacist in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, to evaluate a variety. We then rated them.
Blister pack gun
Pivotell Tablet Popper Pill Blister Gun, £23.99, pivotell.co.united kingdom
Declare: This hand-held gun pushes ‘capsules simply and briefly from a blister pack’, the maker says. You set a blister pack underneath the versatile pad at the finish of the tool and pull a cause, which presses the pad onto the capsule, pushing it out.
Knowledgeable verdict: Ben Merriman says: ‘Blister packs may also be very fiddly for folks with dexterity problems equivalent to the ones with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or a neurological situation equivalent to a couple of sclerosis or Parkinson’s. So this device may benefit the ones sufferers specifically.
‘However if you happen to combat with this, your pharmacist can take capsules out of blister packs for you and put them into bins which might be more straightforward to get right of entry to.
‘Whilst this seems to be a reasonably easy tool to make use of, it is probably not useful for all medications equivalent to those who are available in metal-backed blister packs, which want to be peeled again reasonably than the capsules ‘popped’ out.’
Pivotell Tablet Popper Pill Blister Gun
Speaking capsule field
Massive Weekly Tablet Organiser with Alarm, from E-pill Drugs Reminders, £74.86, amazon.co.united kingdom
Declare: This plastic tray has 4 rows of 7 packing containers, for on a daily basis of the week and other occasions of on a daily basis — e.g. morning, midday — on every lid. Its virtual timer can then be programmed with a voice alert, equivalent to: ‘Please take your morning capsules for the 20 th.’
Knowledgeable verdict: Mohammed Hussain says: ‘We name these kinds of merchandise compliance aids; they’re designed to include person doses of medications to be taken at positive occasions. There is a actual factor with many sufferers no longer taking medications how they must or after they must.
‘So in many ways this type of tool is just right, however I believe this one is far too dear for what is largely a capsule tray and a timer.
‘I may just additionally see errors being made in managing such a lot of capsules which are unlabelled and no longer of their authentic packaging. When you’ve got a smartphone, you’ll want to simply set alarms on that.
‘Or, a pharmacy could make up a field with all of the medications in separate compartments at no further price [known as a dosette box]. In those packing containers, every slot is sealed underneath plastic (so it is simple to look if the pill has been taken) and sparsely labelled, with length and color, for instance, so a non-health skilled can simply determine which is which.’
Two-Piece Tablet Splitter, £6.99, amazon.co.united kingdom
Declare: This set accommodates two pairs of chrome steel bladed scissors. The blades permit a sq., oval, spherical or rectangular-shaped capsule, with a diameter between 5mm and 10mm, to be flippantly minimize in part, thirds or quarters.
Knowledgeable verdict: Ben Merriman says: ‘As some medicines aren’t to be had in smaller doses, for instance when a 5mg pill is also the bottom energy to be had however a 2.5mg dose is wanted, making them smaller your self is also important. (Particularly in the event that they want to be saved within the packaging so long as conceivable to prevent them changing into much less efficient because of mild, air and moisture.)
‘Reducing up capsules isn’t preferrred, however specialist scissors like those may well be the least unhealthy possibility as they are going to supply a beautiful correct minimize.
‘Remember that capsules with an enteric coating [to protect them from stomach acids degrading them] or medications designed to unlock doses regularly must no longer be cut up: handiest minimize up capsules that have a marking on them, a line around the center as an example, which signifies they may be able to be gotten smaller.
‘A product like that is a lot more secure and extra correct than the use of, say, kitchen scissors. Alternatively, consult with your pharmacist in case you are unsatisfied about slicing up capsules.’
Tablet Mill Tablet Crusher, £15.99, amazon.co.united kingdom
Declare: This chrome steel tool is concerning the length of a pepper grinder. You’ll be able to position as much as 50 capsules into the cylinder, shut the lid and switch the lengthy crank care for to grind down the capsules right into a superb powder. Its maker says ‘there is not any effort or power important to make use of our pill crusher leading to a quick and clean grind, easiest for folks with arthritis’.
Knowledgeable verdict: Mohammed Hussain says: ‘Grinding down capsules is unhealthy. As an example, many capsules have a sparkly, enteric coating, so the drugs is handiest launched when it reaches the small gut. This coating could be destroyed through grinding.
‘Additionally many capsules, equivalent to the ones containing morphine, are designed to slowly unlock the drugs so the affected person does no longer get one giant ‘hit’. Via grinding them down, this necessary function could be destroyed.
‘The truth it may well accommodate such a lot of capsules additionally makes it very unhealthy as you’ll’t keep watch over the dose. I’d urge folks by no means to grind their capsules — if you happen to combat to take your capsules, ask your pharmacist about having them in liquid shape.’
Tablet Mill Tablet Crusher
Ezy Dose Medi-Spout, £34, ninelife.united kingdom
Declare: Designed for ‘any person with swallowing issue, dysphagia, or who dislikes that capsule style’, this reusable plastic spout screws directly to most normal water bottles. A capsule may also be positioned within the spout, and when the person takes a swig, in addition they swallow the capsule.
Knowledgeable verdict: Mohammed Hussain says: ‘Swallowing capsules or drugs for some folks is usually a actual downside, however I don’t believe this dear spout is truly an answer.
‘Once many capsules come into touch with water, they begin dissolving, making antibiotics, equivalent to metronidazole, style metal, making you gag. This spout will handiest get the pill into your mouth and no longer down your throat, so isn’t fixing the problem.
‘A little of training and seeking to perceive why folks have hassle swallowing from the pharmacist can assist.
‘Guidelines equivalent to tipping your head again and no longer elevating your tongue after taking a swig of water, so no longer specializing in the pill however as a substitute getting the water down your throat, incessantly paintings. Fruit juice can masks the style — however keep away from scorching beverages as they’re going to get started dissolving the pill.’
Ezy Dose Medi-Spout
Jokari Tablet Bottle Opener with Magnifier, £3.54, mobilitysmart.co.united kingdom
Declare: This palm-size plastic device suits directly to treatment bottle lids and is ribbed at the within and the outdoor for a greater grip. It has a integrated magnifying glass to assist with studying labels.
Knowledgeable verdict: Mohammed Hussain says: ‘Sufferers suffering to take away child-proof lids is a matter we take care of so much.
‘It is a felony requirement that each one medications are provided in child-proof bins, however pharmacists can exchange them with extra easy to open ones if the affected person asks.
‘It is a at hand tool — it is reasonable and does two essential jobs: serving to take off any length lid, whilst you’ll use the magnifying glass to be sure you’re taking the proper treatment (all the time sparsely read about your capsules so you might be aware of how they give the impression of being).
‘Even if pharmacists can incessantly print off higher labels if you happen to combat to learn same old ones, this can be a truly helpful device.’
Grabber for needlephobia
Tickleflex Insulin Injection Support, £14.95, tickleflex.com
Declare: This small grabber-like accent suits directly to the tip of an ordinary insulin injection pen. Its maker says it makes ‘injecting a more secure, extra comfy, extra constant and worry-free procedure’. The tiny textured ‘arms’ acquire a fold of pores and skin keeping it securely and tickling the outside, inflicting a distraction to masks ache; it may well additionally ‘considerably scale back bruising’ through combating ‘the needle getting in too deep’.
Knowledgeable verdict: Mohammed Hussain says: ‘In concept, the distraction way of tickling the outside is a good suggestion, however actually the injection isn’t painful.
‘Fashionable insulin pens are smartly designed so I do not see an actual want for this: the needles are tiny — as small as 4mm lengthy, you slightly see them. Additionally whilst trendy injection pens use single-use disposable needles, with this you utilize it time and again, so you’ll must stay it blank between each and every injection, that may be a number of occasions an afternoon.
‘The maker says this would prevent bruising, but when the person steadily rotates the injection websites on their frame then bruising is not going to be a big factor.’
Tickleflex Insulin Injection Support
Gloup, 150ml tube, £8.99, gloup.store
Declare: The maker says this gives a ‘easy, secure and efficient’ way to making swallowing capsules more straightforward.
This can be a thick viscous gel that mask the style of capsules after a teaspoon is squeezed over the capsule ahead of swallowing them in combination.
The maker suggests it additionally boosts saliva manufacturing to assist with swallowing and states it must no longer engage with any medications.
Knowledgeable verdict: Ben Merriman says: ‘Issues of swallowing are changing into more and more not unusual in adults, particularly the ones with a situation affecting the anxious gadget equivalent to a stroke, Parkinson’s or dementia.
‘There may be proof a product like this will assist some folks swallow medicine extra simply. Some medicine must be taken on an empty abdomen to make sure they’re absorbed as it should be. The maker says the gel breaks down so absorption of medications is unaffected.
‘Some medications could cause a dry mouth as a side-effect, so this, which makes the mouth water, may well be helpful for the ones sufferers. But it surely must handiest be used with cast oral dosages, no longer with dispersible, soluble or bubbling capsules, liquids or powders.
‘If somebody struggles to swallow capsules, I’d attempt to in finding out what’s inflicting the issue. Discuss in your pharmacist about taking treatment in a special system equivalent to a liquid.’