Thinking outside the (pill)box

Wheel full 70px I take a lot of pills.  All recommended by my various docs, but “a lot” just about sums it up.  Here’s a week’s worth.


That box is 9x2x1 inches/22.5x5x2.5 cm.  A month’s worth of my meds in four of these boxes fills about a third of a front pannier.

So two questions:  First, take a look at the list of what is in each day’s compartment.

Daily (prescription)

  • Allopurinol (for gout)- one 300 mg tablet.
  • Atorvastatin (for high cholesterol) – one 20 mg tablet
  • Azor (for high blood pressure) – one 10-40mg tablet
  • Bystolic (for high blood pressure) – one 5 mg tablet
  • Torsemide (for high blood pressure) – one 20 mg tablet
  • Dexilant (for acid reflux) – one 60 mg capsule or Famotidine two E40 mg tablets (alternate every 90 days)
  • Januvia (for Type 2 diabetes) – one 100 mg tablet
  • Invokana (for Type 2 diabetes) – one 300 mg tablet
  • Niaspan (for high cholesterol) – one 500 mg ER tablet
  • Synthroid (for hypothyroidism)- one 200 mcg tablet
  • Fenofibrate (for high triglycerides) – one 160 mg tablet
  • Cyanocobalamin (for Vitamin B12 deficiency) – one 1000 mcg tablet

Weekly (prescription)

  • Vitamin D (for Vitamin D deficiency) – three 50,000 unit capsules


  • Aspirin – one 325 mg tablet per day
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin – two tablets per day
  • Potassium gluconate – one 595 mg tablet
  • Vitamin B complex – one tablet per day
  • Vitamin E – one 1000 unit capsule every day

Wheel full 70pxI’ll note that my endocrinologist wants me to stop the Invokana when I start the ride, as he doesn’t believe I will need it at that level of activity and he is concerned about its side effect of causing dehydration.  That leaves me on one diabetes med: Januvia.  My GP doc wants me to stop the Torsemide at the same time, based on the same concern about dehydration.

Wheel full 70pxSo what about the others?  I trust my docs (and my GP is an avid bike rider), but I doubt either of them is on any of these meds.  Does anyone reading this have any real life experience with taking one or more of these meds and bicycling to excess?  I’d appreciate your feedback.

Wheel full 70pxQuestion two is: how can I ditch the boxes. I need my meds separated into daily doses, as some of the pills are quite similar in appearance.  I am also concerned about keeping each day separate from a cross-contamination standpoint.  I think it would be a good idea to just handle one day’s worth of pills at a time.

Wheel full 70pxSo small zip-loc plastic bags?  Individual daily packets made with a Food Saver heat sealer?

Food Saver 800px

Something proprietary I don’t know about?  Your recommendations are very welcome- thanks in advance.

David Edgren

5 thoughts on “Thinking outside the (pill)box

  1. I apologize for the possibly quackish advice that follows.

    Something to add and something to subtract.

    You might try S-Adenosyl L-Methionine (“SAM-e”) to help, somewhat, with joint pain. This works, but I think it takes at least a couple of weeks to do much, and it’s not an enormous difference. Looks like people also take it for mood; I don’t know about that. Longer term, your weight loss should be a big driver of arthritis relief.

    Atorvastatin is… not supposed to be great for your physical performance. I’m certainly no doctor, but [puts quack hat on] it’s doubtful that it’s any good for you anyway. Would be nice if your doctor would work on you for designing long term criteria under which you would cease taking it, and when you reach that point, whatever exercise habits you have will work better because you’ll be stronger and have more stamina. If the doctor won’t admit any possible criteria under which you would quit statins, perhaps you could seek a second opinion. Or you could just give up and turn into a quack like I have.

    Note that the real driver of lesions on the artery is inflammation-mediated damage to arterial walls that have been infiltrated by messed-up macrophages that were trying to clean up oxidized LDLs. That’s obviously a lot more specific – and complicated – than just cholesterol levels. Do statins actually prevent LDL oxidiation or the immune system response that leads to artery wall damage? I don’t know for sure, but it doesn’t look like it. Exercise DOES prevent LDL oxidation, because it increases cell uptake of LDLs, thus meaning those molecules don’t often sit around long enough to get damaged by oxidation. High blood sugar also damages LDL molecules in a way that leads to the same problem, and likewise is fought by exercise and diet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s probably a small concern, but if you carry your prescriptions in other than pharmacy-issued and labeled bottles (as it appears you’re going to) that after a woman was pulled over for something insignificant (brake-light? not signalling?) in my county several years ago, the cop noticed one of those week-at-a-time pill containers on her passenger seat. She ended up having to go to court for it. As I remember, it was over 1) not having the pharmacy descriptions and 2) not being able to ID all the the various types.

    Mind you, most cops aren’t like the jack-booted thugs here in [redacted], but . . . You would probably be fine carrying a sheet with a copy of the pill bottle labels and the description of the pills.

    And no, she had no controlled substances. But that “stash” looked pretty incriminating.

    And, yeah, I’m probably over-sensitive to this due to what happened to that woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Might ask if you will need the Vitamin D supplements. You will be getting a lot of sunshine, and I understand the body produces that on its own with sun exposure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Be sure to keep copies of any rx or have a script in hand, in case you lose meds or your travels are delayed and you need more. The script can make it possible to get meds even when drs offices are closed.

    Liked by 1 person

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