Struggling to open bottles, specifically childproof tops on prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine bottles, can be maddening. When getting to the medicine that is supposed to relieve your pain causes additional pain, it’s tool time.

Look for an opener that requires minimal grip pressure and is easy to figure out, says Cathy Dow Royer, director and associate professor for the division of occupational therapy at American International College, in Springfield, Mass. “You’ll also want a rubber nonslip coating on the grip points, so that your hand doesn’t slide,” she says.

Here are tools that work well when you want to open bottles:

Dycem Bottle Opener. This dome-shape opener fits in the palm of your hand and provides a stable grip to open childproof twist tops. Use it also to open doors and cupboards, and to turn on taps and oven dials.

Multi-Grip Twist Cap Opener. The opener gives you increased leverage to remove stubborn twist caps from any size bottle. 

PurrFect and DogGone Openers with Pill Extractor. Different parts of this cat- or dog-shaped tool can be used to flip off caps and remove cotton from the narrow openings of OTC medicine bottles, twist open prescription bottles, push pills through foil containers, split pills and open cans that have tabs.


See which medication products have received the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use Commendation for easy-to-open packaging.