The “Brown Bag” Medication Review

Assisted living and residential care residents often move into a community directly from their home.  While living at home many of our residents managed their own medications or received minimal assistance from a family member.  Over the years the volume of medications in their possession can quickly build up as residents saw multiple physicians, purchased over-the-counter medications, and failed to dispose of discontinued medications.

The so-called “brown bag” medication review can be a useful tool when evaluating the medication regimen of a resident prior to move-in, as well as when evaluating current residents who self-store their medications.  When conducting a brown bag medication review the resident is asked to bring all of their medications with them to an appointment–literally in a brown bag if necessary–rather than simply a list of medications.  This technique can help to ensure that providers are aware of all medications a resident is taking, including the vitamins, OTCs, and supplements that some residents may forget about when create a list.

The North Carolina Program on Health Literacy has a tool with background and instructions for conducting a brown bag medication review, download it here.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment