Use a password safe to store your medication info

A list of antibiotics with colour-coded labels

You know what it’s like—you’re not feeling well, you’re sitting in the GP’s surgery and she’s just asked if you’re okay with Penicillin.

Your mind goes blank.

I don’t know, am I? Shouldn’t your GP have this information on file?

I have a simple, portable solution.

SafeInCloud

Something that I’ve been doing for years is keep a track of all my prescribed medication on my mobile device. At first this was a database on my Psion PDA, now it’s in my password manager application of choice, SafeInCloud.

I will always update my medication repository in SafeInCloud whenever I am prescribed something. I tend to do this on my desktop PC but as my password manager file is automatically synchronised between my desktop PC, laptop and Android smartphone, I have the information wherever I go, including sitting in the GP surgery.

Template

SafeInCloud allows me to create a custom template to consistently capture the information I need. My drugs template has an icon of medicine capsules and the following fields:

Editing the Drugs template in SafeInCloud
  • Drug name
  • Drug type
  • Dose (mg)
  • Prescribed for—a quick summary to remind me why I was given it.
  • OK?—Was I okay with this medication or were there some issues?
  • Side effects
  • When to take—e.g. two hours before food
  • Take with—e.g. drink with water
  • Avoid—e.g. avoid milk
  • First prescribed—how long have I been using this?
  • Last prescribed—how long ago did I have it?
  • Website—I want more information about this

Colour coding

I also use colour coding on the icons as a quick way to see whether I’m okay with these drugs.

  • Grey means that I saw no effect from this medication.
  • Green means that I’m fine with these drugs.
  • Yellow means that I’m mostly okay but I do suffer some mild side effects.
  • Red means that I have an allergy or serious side effects.

Conclusion

I find this really useful. I no longer have to rely on my memory, especially for some of the more obscure medications. I suspect you should be able to do something similar in other password manager applications.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 48 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Scrum master at Vision Ltd, Dundee. Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and former warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Enneagram type FOUR and introvert, I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, write, draw and laugh… a lot.

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