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A component of the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS).

SafeMedicationUse Newsletter

Managing Changes in Your Medication Blister Pack


blister pack received a report from a consumer who picked up a blister pack from the pharmacy. The pack contained a blood pressure medication that had been stopped by the doctor. It was fortunate that the consumer was aware of the change and caught the error before taking the medication.

Blister packs, also known as compliance packs or bubble packs, can help consumers keep track of their medications. Medications in the blister pack are organized and labelled according to when they are to be taken during the day.

Blister packs are prepared ahead of time. When there are changes to the medications, such as the addition of a new medication or a change in dose, extra checks are required to prevent a mistake. has the following tips for consumers and caregivers on how to use blister packs safely when there are changes to medications:

  • Be familiar with your medications, including the dose and what each medication looks like.
  • Be aware of any changes to your medications. Use the "5 Questions to Ask about Your Medications" for more information. For example, you can ask about the reasons for stopping certain medications, starting new ones, or changing doses.
  • If your medications need to change, take your blister packs back to the pharmacy to be updated. Or your pharmacy may prefer to deliver new packs to you and pick up the old ones, even if you haven't used up all the medication.
  • Check the medications listed on the label of the new or updated blister pack. Ideally, you do this together with your pharmacist.

Read some additional tips in "Tips to Prevent Medication Errors with Your Blister Pack".

Medication safety bulletins contribute to Global Patient Safety Alerts

This newsletter was developed in collaboration with Best Medicines Coalition and Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Recommendations are shared with healthcare providers, through the ISMP Canada Safety Bulletin, so that changes can be made together.

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