How To Keep Up With Your Meds When You Can’t Get to Your Normal Pharmacy

When your routine has changed or you’re far from home, you can still get your regular prescriptions.

An illustration of an airstream made to look like a medication capsule

You have your routine: Your usual pharmacy where you pick up your usual prescriptions at the usual time. You know the drill.

But what do you do when you’re away from your usual pharmacy?

Whether the current climate of staying at home has changed your routine or, sometime down the road, you’re traveling again, it’s no problem.

There are easy steps to take to fill your prescriptions on a prompt schedule, even when it’s not at the pharmacy you always use.

Changing things up when you’re close to home

Maybe your normal routine included picking up your prescriptions on your lunch break at a pharmacy close to the office.

Maybe your usual pharmacy wasn’t necessarily the closest to you and now you just want to limit your trips.

The easiest way to deal with this? Ask for a prescription transfer.

Call the new pharmacy of your choice and tell them you want a prescription transfer. Give them the names and dosages of all the meds you want to transfer, as well as the prescription numbers. You can find these on your medication bottle.

Provide them the contact information of your regular pharmacy, and your new pharmacy will take care of the rest. And if you’re dealing with two pharmacy locations within the same chain? Even easier.

If you want to stick with your primary pharmacy, there may be other choices for getting your meds you haven’t considered.

Many pharmacies offer at-home delivery for those who can’t pick up in-person or check for curbside pickup so you don’t have to go inside.

And for another method to get your prescriptions without leaving the comfort and safety of your home, look into mail delivery. Check with your prescription insurance provider for options they cover.

Interrupting your normal routine doesn’t have to interrupt getting your meds.

Keeping up with your meds when you’re far from home

When you can get out and see the world, you don’t need to worry about accessing your medications if you simply plan.

The best course of action is to fill your scripts ahead of time. Then, make sure you have enough for the duration of your trip — plus a bit extra in case things get extended unexpectedly.

If you’re flying, pack your meds in your carry-on (in the original bottles with the original labels). That will make sure any mix-ups with lost luggage don’t mean you’re separated from your medications.

But if you unexpectedly run out or lose your meds while traveling, don’t panic. Just be prepared.

Bring along a new prescription and note from your doctor just in case. And make sure you know the generic name of the medications you’ve been prescribed. Brand names can vary if you’re traveling internationally.

Sure, it can be unnerving to be away from your regular pharmacy when you need your prescription.

But with some planning, it’s all pretty simple. An interruption in your normal routine doesn’t mean an interruption in your access to your prescription medication.

Prescription prices adding up? Learn how to talk to your doctor about more affordable alternatives.

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Brad Keefe is a former award-winning journalist and film critic of 20 years based in Columbus, Ohio. In recent years, he’s worked with several nationally renowned brands while continuing to occasionally scratch his journalism itch.

Jeremy Slagle is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Columbus, Ohio. With more than 25 years of experience, Jeremy has worked with clients such as Nickelodeon, Bath & Body Works, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Wired Magazine and more.

This article was last updated May 19, 2020