a man looking at the outline of missing insulin

How to Never Run Out of Medications

One of the favorite times for many people is the weekend. Who doesn’t love those days off, when we don’t have to worry about work and can focus on our families and our hobbies? There is one big thing that can put a damper on the weekend pretty quickly, and that is running out of medications.

Sometimes we forget to replenish medications

Some people rely on medications, such as insulin, to keep them out of the hospital and from having major medical emergencies. Sometimes we unintentionally forget to pay attention, which leads us to run out of medications over the weekend. This can be really stressful. Here are a few tips to ensure your medications stay stocked, or how to get medication on the weekends.

Keep track of your refills and make requests early

The first thing you can do is request a refill prior to taking your last dose/pill. Generally, you only get so many refills before your doctor must renew your prescription with the pharmacy. Most medications can be refilled a few days before you run out. Be sure to make that request early at your pharmacy and keep an eye on your prescriptions to see how many refills you have left. If it says zero, that means your doctor will have to approve a refill request. If this happens near the weekend, getting a refill can be more difficult.

Ask for a loaner dose of medication

If you do find yourself out of medication on the weekend, you can ask your pharmacy for a loaner dose of medication. Usually, they will give you doses to last for a few days, until your doctor's office opens and they can complete the appropriate refill.

Reach out to an after-hours nurse for insulin

Medications like insulin won’t have the option to get a loaner dose, because you have to get a full vial or pen. In this case, the best thing to do is reach out to the after-hours nurse to see if they can get a hold of a provider to complete a refill. Some provider offices don’t allow refills after hours or weekends. If this is the case, you will have to either wait for the office to open, or go to urgent care or the emergency department to get medication. Again, the best way to avoid this is to be proactive!

Be proactive and use your calendar

Find out when you can get your medication refilled. If you have a 30 day supply, check with your pharmacy to see what date you can get it refilled. Mark this date on a calendar or set up a reminder on your cell phone to do this. If you are traveling, pack extra medication.

Call your doctor ahead of time

Keep track of when you will need the doctor to renew your prescription and call them in advance or have the pharmacy reach out to them for you. Even if the prescription can’t be filled, they can still get the order from your doctor for when the refill is due.

If refills are an issue, consider changing doctors

If getting refills is a problem every time they are due to be renewed by your doctor, especially if they never call it in quickly or you have to hound them for refills, consider switching doctors. A good doctor will take care of a refill in a timely manner. Let your doctor know if they continue to make refills difficult for you to renew, you will have to change doctors.

I know this isn’t a desirable option, but why would you continue to support a doctor and their practice when they don’t support you the way they need to when it comes to your health.

The best way to avoid running out of essential medication is to plan ahead and keep track of time. However, if you run out, it's possible to still get your medication!

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