Dosette box how to use one safely

Dosette box: how to use one safely

3 min read |
Alistair Clay Author

Author 16.03.2023

Alistair Clay

If you or your loved one has multiple medications to take on a regular basis, a dosette box can make the process easier.

Helping to organise medications by day, week or even month, a dosette box ensures that the right medications are taken.

This can be beneficial for maintaining independence as you get older.

This article will cover how to use a dosette box safely in home care and assisted living settings.

Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover:

  • A dosette box, or pill organiser, is a container that stores medications and, in some cases, dispenses them at the assigned time.  
  • They can help people taking multiple medications on a regular basis to avoid missing doses, which could be detrimental to health.
  • When choosing a dosette box, consider your health needs to find a product that works for you and is easy to use. 
What is a dosette box

What is a dosette box?

A dosette box is an easy to use care aide that allows you to organise medication and supplements into compartments. 

The compartments can be labelled with different parts of the day such as morning and night, and separate each day from the next. 

Dosette boxes come in a variety of sizes, daily, weekly and monthly, that let you organise medication well in advance.

So when it comes to taking medicines your pills are ready to go with minimal fuss.

Are you worried about a loved one?

Early signs of dementia free guide

Who can use a dosette box?

Dosette boxes are readily available to buy and be used by anyone who finds them necessary to organise oral medication.

They may be helpful for people taking multiple medicines or supplements in pill or capsule form. 

People with certain conditions that affect memory find dosette boxes useful for remembering to take their medication. 

Additionally, for mobility issues in elderly, dosette boxes can make the process of taking medication easier and pain free.

Who can use a dosette box

What medication can go in a dosette box?

Not all medicines can go in a dosette box, obviously anything liquid or especially large should be avoided. 

If you have large medicines or supplement pills and capsules, you should choose a dosette box that can accommodate this. 

Check out our pill dispenser box: reviews of the best article for more info on using a dosette box or pill dispenser.

What medication can go in a dosette box

How to use a dosette box in assisted living settings

A dosette box may support someone to live independently, as they are able to manage and take their medication with confidence. 

Not only are they taking the right medication, which helps them function well, they are doing so without constant supervision. 

This can provide an opportunity for older people to manage themselves independently, which can boost their self esteem. 

Support staff at the facility can be on hand to help with medication when needed, such as organising the week’s supply.

using a dosette box in assisted living settings

What is the guidance for using a dosette box in assisted living settings?

The CQC, which regulates assisted living facilities as well as other types of care, has some guidance on use of dosette boxes. 

When being used by an elderly carer or in a care setting, there are some considerations for helping maximise feelings of independence. 

This is to help the person being cared for feel confident and autonomous, while receiving elements of support. 

For more information about what is the CQC and what they do, head to our care and advice pages.

Taking medication safely in a care setting

Taking medication safely in a care setting

The CQC suggests other reasonable adjustments for maintaining independence with medication,  such as:

  • reminder charts
  • winged bottle caps
  • large print labels
  • alarms (eg. notifications on mobile phones)
  • tablet splitters


Are you worried about a loved one?

Early signs of dementia free guide

How to use a dosette box?

Dosette boxes are designed to make the task of remembering to take medication easier. 

As a general rule, you should know which medicines you or your loved one has to take and how to take them. 

If you have any confusion or concerns about what they are taking, consult the relevant care and health professionals.

Follow medication guidance

Taking medication can sometimes be complicated, especially when prescribed drugs that may interact or give you certain side effects. 

It’s very important to follow instructions given to you by your doctor regarding how and when to take medicines. 

For example, there may be a pill you have to take in the morning and a different one at night, or certain drugs on particular days. 

With this in mind, you can organise medication and supplements in the order you need to take them to avoid confusion.

How to use a dosette box

Label the compartments

Many dosette boxes use coloured compartments to help distinguish between days of the week or even parts of the day. 

However, if your model doesn’t have labels, consider creating labels to indicate when to take or the contents of each compartment.

Set alarms

If you or your loved one struggles to remember medication and often forgets to take it, set up alarms. 

This can be done on a mobile phone or dementia clock where alarms can be labelled with notes and information. 

Missing doses can have negative side effects and could be damaging for long term conditions or recovery. 

So even though it might feel like a bit of an effort, setting up alarms for use with the dosette box can be a huge help.

refill the dosette box

Refill and reorder

Taking medication regularly means that you have to be on top of re-filling the compartments at the end of every day or week.

Plus, don’t forget about re-ordering the medication you need from your GP or pharmacy. 

A loved one or carer can give you as much support as you need with refills and ordering medication.

Or if you’re doing it alone, it may be a good idea to get them to check you have everything you need in the right place.

Which dosette box should I use?

Buying a dosette box can be done through your local pharmacy or from an online retailer. 

If you have very specific medication needs, your health professional may be able to recommend something that accommodates them.

However if you’re looking for something more general, there are loads of great designs to choose from. 

Here are some things to consider when choosing a dosette box for your medications.

dosette box shapes and sizes


Dosette boxes are available with different size compartments, to cater for different types of medications. 

If you have a condition that affects mobility in your hands and fingers, you may benefit from something that isn’t fiddly to use.

This can be helpful for those who need arthritis care – for more information on types of arthritis, head to our advice pages.


However you like to organise your medication, there will be a product that suits your preferences. 

Some layouts include different sections for parts of the day, while some just have seven compartments for one week.

Plus, the shape, storage and style preferences can be catered for as some are flat, some tall and with many variations on colour.

Which dosette box should I use

Advanced features

Advanced features can include alarms and timed dispensers of medicines which have to be set up electronically. 

As well as this, some dosette boxes can be detached into smaller sections which is perfect for travelling with medications. 

Depending on your preference and medication needs, some advanced features can overcomplicate the process.

So it’s important to find a product and a routine that works for you and helps you to use your dosette box safely.

Find the best care for mum

Find the best care for you

Our intelligent matching service will find high-quality local care for you or your loved one – and then put you in control.

Just click below, enter your care needs and we’ll do the rest for you.

Alistair Clay Author

Author 16.03.2023

Alistair Clay

Alistair is a founding Director of Sweet Pea Care and the Managing Director of social care communications agency Arc Seven where he advises some of the UK’s biggest care providers.