Just finished organising my pills for the week. Out of curiosity, I sat down to calculate how many meds (pills, and liquid) I take per day, per week, and then per month (including vitamins) to be ok (by medical standards). I’ve not listed the types of pills I’m taking, but if you’re really interested, I can provide a full list.

I’ve included the quantities for some so I can keep track of which ones I’ve done. Oh yeah, and the star symbol (*) stands in for the multiplication sign.

Feel free to check this for simple arithmetic mistakes!!!

Here’s the maths:

1 day

1 except Saturday/Sunday: 2 (50mg)

1/4*2 = 1/2 (6.25mg)

1 (8mg)


1 (40mg)


2 ‘shots’ of 5ml each

1/2 (100mg)

1 (25mg)

1/2 (75mg) except Monday,Wednesday, Friday when I take 3/4


1 (750mg)

1 (500mg)

1 (2000mg)


1 (250mg)

1 (400mg)

Total for a day (that isn’t Monday/Wednesday/Friday):

16 units of meds [‘units’ here being an arbitrary indication of how many individual pieces of pills, vitamins or bottles I take]

For Monday/Wednesday/Friday = 16 and 1/4 units

For weekends = 17 units of meds 

Therefore, for 1 week from Sunday to Saturday:

(16 and 1/4)*3  + (16*2) + (17*2) = 114 and 3/4 units

For one month (assuming a 30-day month)

(114 and 3/4)*4 = 459 units

If it ends on a weekend: 459 + 34 = 493 units

If it ends on weekdays  (say, Monday and Tuesday are the last two days) = 459 + (16 and 1/4) + 16 = 491 and 1/4 units

There are other permutations and combinations which I haven’t calculated, but you get the gist…

In terms of the number of medications (that is, the number of different substances ingested without considering their specific quantities):

Daily  = 18 – there’s one I haven’t included in the above list because the quantity changes daily.

That would mean, per month  (assuming a 30-day month) = 18*30 = 540 meds (Theoretically, I’d still be ingesting 18 different substances, but I would ingest them 30 times in one month, so it would be like taking 540 pills. Does that make sense?)

Assuming a 31-day month = 18*31 = 558 

I’m practically maintaining the pharmaceutical business.

And then imagine that there’s at least 16 of us on mechanical heart support with more or less the same pills (give or take a few)…











2 thoughts on “pharmath

  1. If I didn’t hate math before…
    I would be following Mary Poppins advice as closely as I could…If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down then 1 month + 527 pills * 1 spoonful of sugar…(carry the one)…it’s got to be a least a whole chocolate cake 😉

    1. I made a mistake, it’s actually 540, but you get the point.

      And yes, that is an entire chocolate cake! Alas, I can’t have any. 😦

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