Medication management tips for the busyness of summertime

Summer: a time for sunshine, warmth, fun, and travel. With all of the additional plans that happen during the summer months it tends to be a busier season, meaning typically regimented routines can more easily get thrown off course. The busyness of summer and scheduling more plans than usual can get in the way of normal routines, including regularly taking medication—which around 66% of adults in the United States use, according to Georgetown University.1 With a few tips for efficient medication organization for summer activities, you can be sure to stay on top of your medication routines.

Whether you’re worried about keeping up with medication regimens during the busy summer time or you need some organization for while you’re traveling this summer, we’ve got you covered. If your summertime routine brings drastic changes compared to other times of the year, it may be a good time to revisit your medication routines altogether. Do you stay up and sleep in later in the summer? Do your work routines or hours change with having children at home while not in school? Do you schedule summer activities during times when you normally need to remember to take medications? Whatever your daily routine is, you may need to alter them in the summer. Decide on a new routine that will fit in seamlessly with your busy summer life.

No matter your specific routine, having a pill organizer is an easy physical reminder to take your medication and can help you remember whether or not you’ve taken your daily essentials. While this daily part of your routine seems easy to remember, we all get busy — especially in the summer — and can sometimes forget whether or not we’ve taken them. It’s important to stay on top of your routine so the health effects of your medications aren’t interrupted if you miss any doses.

Efficient Medication Organization for Summer Activities

If you’re traveling this summer, pack extra doses of your medication in case your trip gets extended for any reason. You want to be prepared for any situation! With other things on the top of your mind while traveling — like flights, packing, hotels, and planned reservations or activities — taking medications isn’t always at the forefront of your thoughts. Keeping medications in a pill organizer helps keep them all in one location. It helps you store them easily and if you take multiple medications, it cuts down on the number of pill bottles you need to take with you. An organizer also helps with efficiency, not having to open several bottles every day. Choose a bright pill organizer so it catches your eye when you’re digging through your purse or suitcase.

When traveling, keep your medications somewhere easily accessible like in a carry-on or personal item baggage. This makes it easier to control the temperate the medication is exposed to — unlike a checked bag, that may sit on a tarmac too long in the summer heat waiting to be loaded onto a plane. Additionally, if the airline loses your luggage, you won’t need to get more as you’re traveling. If you’re traveling by car, keep medications out of the trunk or glove box where temperatures can get extremely hot.

Don’t forget to think about time zone changes. A one-hour change may not make a big difference for most medications, but a larger change, like if you’re traveling across the country or internationally, is something you’ll want to keep in mind. Set an alarm to help you remember to take them at the right time, as it’ll be a different time than you’re used to.

Medication Safety and Adherence

The summer warmth also brings with it a different set of safety guidelines to consider. Certain medications are affected by temperature. Aside from obvious ones you need to keep refrigerated while at home, make sure you’re not exposing any medications to extreme heat, which can affect the medication’s active ingredients and can reduce its effectiveness.

Medications can have different effects on your body when heat is involved that you’ll want to watch out for. Even medications that don’t have side effects under normal circumstances can affect your body differently if you take them and then expose your body to high temperatures.

  • Some medications reduce your fluid levels quicker than normal, such as diuretics.2 That, coupled with the summer heat which makes you sweat more (and therefore losing even more fluids), means you’re probably losing more fluids than you’re aware of. Drink more water than usual, and add fruits and vegetables with high water contents into your diet.
  • Antibiotics, statin drugs, and some pain relievers are a few examples of medications that can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun.2 Watch out for unusual symptoms like rash, skin tenderness, or redness. These can be signs you’ve been exposed to the sun for too long and a sunburn may be starting. Try to avoid too long of sun exposure, especially during the hottest hours of the day, were the sun his the hottest with the highest UV rays. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
  • Heat exhaustion. Some medications, like blood pressure medications, antihistamine medications, and decongestants, can put you at risk for heat exhaustion.2 In addition to avoiding too long of sun exposure, try to stay indoors in cooler air when possible, especially if you’re looking to get exercise in.

Remember that with all of these effects, you often don’t realize you’ve been affected by the heat until you start to feel the symptoms. Take the suggested precautions to help you avoid these symptoms and be aware of your body and how it’s reacting outside if you’re taking medications. Headache, dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, and rash on your skin can all be symptoms of medication acting different when you’re outside, so watch out for them!

All in all, make sure you’re keeping medication routines in mind as you’re enjoying all that summer has to offer. Between the fun, the weather, and travel, follow these efficient medication organization for summer travel to stay on top of your routines — and your health.




  1. Georgetown University. Prescription Drugs.
  2. Summer health: Medications that act differently in the summer.

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