7+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2010
Any thoughts on having patients bring their most recent opioid prescription bottle to every appointment? I think some clinics practice this on a regular basis. I am not fully sure if this helpful? Bringing meds for a pill count is useful 1-2 weeks after last prescription was filled, but bringing empty bottles if they are at the end of their prescription does not seem to be too helpful. Thoughts?


10+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2008
New England
Attending Physician
I agree, it is most helpful when you are seeing them mid RX. Also helpful for pts who insist the instructions on the bottle told them they could take more...I have actually had the pharm screw up and put wrong instructions on there but you need to see it for yourself.

I dont have pts do this regularly unless some uncommon circumstances present. What matters more to me is whether they are running out early and what the UDT says.
Jan 1, 2014
I do this on a regular basis. When patient's come in for refills, they sometimes come in 3 days before they are actually due because of scheduling reasons. In those situations, I should see some pills left over and always do a pill count. I don't think it helps at all to see empty bottles.


10+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2006
Attending Physician
I have them bring bottles every month. I write for 30 days worth of meds but see then in 4 weeks (usually 28 days). If they are taking the meds as prescribed they should always have a couple left. Empty bottles/no bottles = overuse... then they get the warning/talk about self escalation of doses. If it happens 3 times... d/c. I thinks it helps. They learn very quickly we run a tight ship.