Alternate Means of Achieving Moisture Protection For regimens containing Ethambutol protection against moisture is clearly needed since ethambutol is very hygroscopic. As new medications are developed, the need for moisture protection needs to be worked out before the medication is released. The best protection against moisture is most likely unit dose packages that are packaged in a factory. Other methods of protecting against moisture shown below may or may not be adequate. The section on the Cap Opening Monitor describes how a buzzer to motivate a patient to close and tighten the Cap on a Cap Opening monitor, plus a desiccant in the bottle could provide reasonable protection for the medication against ambient moisture. The same principal could be applied to any medication monitor. The multi-compartment monitor will definitely need a means to provide protection against moisture if hygroscopic medications are being dispensed. The trace sheet monitor will probably need such protection
To achieve protection the monitor could be stored in a moisture proof container with a lid that creates a moisture resistant seal with the container when it is closed. Figure 1 shows a container adapted to storing the trace sheet monitor described in the previous section. To remove medication the patient would open the container, advance the medication monitor a sufficient distance out of the container that the medication can be removed, remove one dose of medication, and push the device back into the container. The medication monitor would have to be lashed or fastened to the container in some manner to make sure the device is not completely removed. The cover or hinge for the cover could incorporate a switch which determines when the box is opened and a buzzer. If the buzzer commences buzzing approximately 15 seconds after the container was opened and continues to buzz until the container was closed it should motivate the patient and or the family to close the container to turn off the annoyance of the buzzer.
Figure 1: Moisture proof container used with a trace sheet monitor containing hygroscopic medication.