In a pandemic, like with COVID-19, it’s easy to make small mistakes, which can lead to big problems. With all of the new things to remember and distract us, one thing you don’t want to neglect is managing your prescription medications. Because, at the risk of sounding ridiculously self-righteous, nurse or your mother, if you’re taking a daily medicine, it’s likely that you need it & it would be in your best interest not to have to go without taking it.
Prescription meds are anything you must see your doctor for, which you then take to your pharmacy to fill. Some are taken daily, or multiple times a day, whether you need them or not, some are taken on an as-needed basis, such as medicine for pain, ADHD, anxiety, or depression. Some you will take only for a short period, some you may have been taking for months or even years.
Either way, it’s important to remember to keep up with your medicines so that you don’t have to go without anything you aren’t supposed to go without so that your health remains optimal. One thing you want to make sure and remember to take them as directed by your physician. Following the instructions as they’re written on the label of your prescription bottle.
If you take any meds daily, make sure that you keep enough in your home so you won’t have to miss any doses. Many pharmacies have prescription reminders if you need help remembering to take them or to refill them. This might come in handy during a pandemic.
Each doctor has their own way of going about seeing that you have your meds refilled when you need them. Some like to see you for an office visit each time you run out. For some prescriptions, it’s the law.
Without going into too much detail, with controlled substances, depending on the type of restrictions imposed on these, you will need to come in for an office visit each month. Some doctors are using “tele-med,” which is an appointment over video chat, much like Skype or Facetime. This keeps everyone involved safe from the virus. Some physicians allow their patients to have telephone appointments. After the visit, if they deem necessary, they will call in your prescription to your pharmacy electronically. Still, others will want you to come into the office.
With some medications, your doctor only needs to be reminded to send in your prescription electronically to your pharmacy.
In either case, know what is required of you to obtain your refill. If you do not understand what’s needed, call your health care professional at his or her office and ask. Be sure to do so days in advance. Again, this is so that you won’t be caught off guard and then struggle to get an appointment, possibly risking becoming ill without having your prescription.
FILLING TOO SOON
With most meds, you must wait a certain amount of time before your insurance company and or your pharmacist will agree to refill it. For instance, if you have a month’s supply, you may have to wait up to 28 days before going in for a new prescription. There are laws so that people don’t obtain too much of one medicine at any given time. This is for everyone’s good. Mostly your own safety.
Again, if you have any questions or are unsure about any detail, Don’t hesitate to call the physician’s office or your pharmacist with your question.
Be safe and follow the guidelines set by the CDC and other health officials to make sure you have the best chance at not passing illness to someone, and to keep yourself safe as well.