How To Create a My Medicines List
It can be hard to keep track of medicines. A My Medicines List can remind you when, how, and how much medicine to take. Here are step-by-step instructions to create a My Medicines List for yourself, a family member, a friend, or anyone you take care of.
This update replaces AHRQ's How to Create a Pill Card. You can also access these instructions in Spanish.
- What You Will Need To Create a My Medicines List
- Step 1: Prepare Your Chart
- Step 2: Enter Personal Information and the Date
- Step 3: Gather and Sort Your Medicines
- Step 4: Fill In the Medicine Information
- Step 5: Print and Use the My Medicines List
What You Will Need To Create a My Medicines List
- A computer with either Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat software.
- A printer and paper, preferably thick paper that won't tear easily.
- Information for all your medicines, including:
- The name of each medicine.
- The strength of each medicine.
- What you take the medicine for.
- Instructions of when, how, and how much of the medicine you take.
Step 1: Prepare Your Chart
You can create a My Medicines List on the computer in Word or print out a blank chart and write on it.
- For Word: Download the My Medicines List—Microsoft Word English version (22 KB) or the My Medicines List—Microsoft Word Spanish version (26 KB).
- For the PDF: Download the My Medicines List—PDF English version (112 KB) or My Medicines List—PDF Spanish version (117 KB). Then print the My Medicines List so you can fill it in with a pen or pencil.
You will write in one medicine for each row. If you create a My Medicines List in Word and need more rows, you can:
- move your cursor to the bottom left corner of the chart and click on the + sign that appears, or
- move your cursor to the last box of the chart and press the Tab key, or
- right click on the last row, select "Insert" from the dropdown menu, and then select "Insert Rows Below."
Save the My Medicines List to your computer so that you can easily make changes and won’t need to enter the same information again.
If you create a My Medicines List using a PDF and need more rows, print extra pages of the charts you need.
Step 2: Enter Personal Information and the Date
At the top, enter your name, your allergies, and your emergency contact information (that is, the person to call if there is a medical emergency). If you are making this for someone else, use the name of the person whose medicines will be on the My Medicines List and their allergies and emergency contact information.
Next, add the date that you created or updated on the My Medicines List.
Step 3: Gather and Sort Your Medicines
Gather up all your prescription and non-prescription medicines. Non-prescription medicines may include vitamins, herbals, supplements, cold or cough medicines, aspirin, pain relievers, allergy relief medicines, antacids, laxatives, diet pills, and others that you do not need a prescription to buy.
Sort your medicines into three piles.
- Medicines that you take every day.
- Medicines you take regularly but not every day.
- Medicines you take only when you need them.
Step 4: Fill In the Medicine Information
You'll find the information you need on the label or the package insert that came with your medicine.
Start with the medicines you take every day and fill in the first chart.
- Column 1: Write or type in the name of each medicine. Your medicine may have two names–a brand name (e.g., Tylenol) and a generic name (e.g., acetaminophen). It's a good idea to write in both names.
- Column 2: Write or type in the strength of the medicine (e.g., 20 mg).
- Column 3: Write or type in what you use the medicine for.
- Column 4: Write or type in the instructions for taking the medicine–when, how, and how much. Include special instructions, such as whether to take it with food or if you need to remain standing or sitting after taking it.
- In the last 4 columns, write or type in the amount of medicine you take for each time of day–morning, noon, evening, bedtime. For example, if you take half a pill in the morning and a whole pill in the evening, you would write or type "½ pill" in the Morning column and "1 pill" in the Evening column. Now you can look down the column to know what medicine to take at each time of the day.
Medicines You Take Regularly, But Not Every Day
This chart is for the medicines you take regularly, but not every day. For example, you could put medicines you take three times a week or once a month on this chart.
The first four columns are the same as the previous chart. For the last Column–"When"—enter the days you take the medicine and when you take it (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings).
Finally, fill out the chart for the medicines you take only when you need them. The first three columns are the same as the previous charts. In the last column, fill in when, how, and how much medicine you take.
Below is an example of a completed My Medicines List.
Step 5: Print and Use the My Medicines List
If you created the My Medicines List on the computer, print it and keep it with you at all times or in a place that is easy for you to find. Printing on thick paper may help it last longer.
Look at My Medicines List every time you take prescription or non-prescription medicine. You can:
- Hang it on the refrigerator or keep it with your medicines.
- Bring it to your next visit to the doctor.
- Take it with you if you travel somewhere, to help you keep track of your medicines while you are away from home.
- Take it with you if you go to the hospital, so that everyone will know what medicines you take.
Remember to update My Medicines List every time you start, stop, or change a medicine. Don't forget to update the date at the top so you can remember when you’ve last made changes. Always print your new My Medicines List and throw out the old one so you have the most updated copy whenever you need it.