Design of a Benzodiazepine Pill Dispenser
Student Team: Team Drug Stored
John W. Beckner, MD; Hamilton Health Care System
Benzodiazepines (benzos) are a commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication with poor compliance rates, which can lead to dependency and addiction. Approximately 41.2 million Americans were prescribed at least one benzo prescription in 2018, and prescription rates have steadily increased. However, as benzo usage increases, so do the rates of abuse and addiction. Benzodiazepines are prescribed “as needed”, to be taken up to 3x a day with 8 hours between each pill. Unfortunately, because of the highly addictive nature of benzos, patients often take their medication too frequently because they desire the euphoric effects of this pill faster. As a result, patient non-compliance has become a prevalent issue. Patient non-compliance makes it difficult for their psychiatrist to know if their prescribed medication is working as well as increases the patient’s risk for addiction and accidental overdose. Current devices mostly remind patients when to take their pill and do not regulate if pills are taken at proper intervals. Our proposed design solution to help better monitor patient compliance is Benzo Box, a smart pill dispenser with a specialized locking cap and sheath that is programmed to dispense a pill 8 hours after the previous pill has been dispensed. Benzo Box was created to reduce the risk of addiction one pill bottle at a time.
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