Pill organizers and pill cutters: risks and limitations

Rev Saude Publica. 2013 Feb;47(1):123-7. doi: 10.1590/s0034-89102013000100016.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


In this essay, based on documental analysis, the limitations associated with the use of pill organizers and cutters are discussed and analyzed as a matter of public health. The use of the organizers for storing and carrying tablets and capsules exposes these medications to environmental factors from which their original packaging protected them, compromising their stability and safeness. Cutters also pose the additional risk of causing loss of efficacy, adverse reactions and overdose. On the other hand, the user carrying their own medication reflects the balance between autonomy and self-care, and splitting is sometimes required to comply with certain regimens. It can be concluded that healthcare professionals should observe and guide patients and caregivers in order to avoid risks.

MeSH terms

  • Capsules / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Packaging* / methods
  • Drug Stability*
  • Drug Storage / methods*
  • Humans
  • Tablets / administration & dosage*


  • Capsules
  • Tablets