HOW HANDY IS THE PILL BOX
Stay away from spoiled medicines.
“THE AIR IN INDIA IS FULL OF POLLUTANTS. ALSO THERE EXISTS A HUGE AMOUNT OF MOISTURE IN THE AIR. PILLBOXES EXPOSE THE DRUGS TO MOISTURE AND POLLUTION.
When every small thing becomes an issue in the medical field, questions on how safe even paracetamol and other run of the mill OTC absorb, it is but natural that one even questions the efficacy of the harmless pill box. Remember those white, pink and lavender boxes which many people view as a handy storehouse of pills? All arranged day-wise, time-wise making the lives of older patients easier. Even children of senior citizens rave about how convenient it is to check on and advise their relatives on necessary medicines. But wait a minute. Are these pillboxes completely innocuous?
Not everyone is of the opinion that pillboxes are safe, easy to use and a big relief from constant worry whether their dear ones are taking their meds on time day in and day out. Vikas M is hugely sceptical. He says, “No one really knows whether the pillbox is airtight or not. When drugs come into contact with oxygen they mingle with the atmospheric gases and it won’t surprise me if some reaction occurs completely damaging the medicines. Pillboxes are really dangerous that way.”
Shanta J seconds this thought. According to her, there is no doubt that they are very handy. If she has to go out for a few days and leave her old mother alone, she would be free of worry. Any person, literate or otherwise, can be easily trusted to take their dose of drugs with regularity. However, with giant strides being made in the field of medicine, pillboxes are too small to be given a thought to. No doctor has ever come to the aid of persons taking a large number of medicines advocating the use of pillboxes for the dispensation of tablets.
The rising use of pillboxes by the older generation has come to the notice of concerned doctors. Dr Madhuvendra Sinha, a cardiac surgeon, is worried over the use of pillboxes. He is firmly against their use. He says, “The air in India is full of pollutants. Also there exists a huge amount of moisture in the air. Pillboxes expose the drugs to moisture and pollution. The efficacy of medicines is completely lost. In patients suffering from serious ailments the drugs are life savers and using useless drugs will lead to serious repercussions. Moist tablets are a definite no.”
He says these are used to save the bother of having to read the prescription every day and tear pills out of their packaging. The best thing would to tear open the tablet packaging every time you administer a dose.
Dr Sriram Chavan, a doctor practising general medicine, is also of the same view. He, however, does not deny that sometimes there boxes are useful, especially if the patient is old and forgetful and when a caretaker is not around. The concept is wonderful. Only the execution is faulty. There are no standards and dubious companies manufacture these boxes. The quality varies form shop to shop. He, however, stressed that in our country it is much better to tear open the packaging and give patients freshly-opened drugs. So the fact remains if you care for your people please stay away from handing them spoiled medicines.