Is it Safe to Buy Prescriptions When You’re Out of Town?


You can plan every trip down to the last detail, but inevitably you forget something. You left your medication behind and are wondering what you will do for the duration of your trip. Should you find the nearest pharmacy and fill it there? Should you call your physician for references on good pharmacies or to have your medicine sent to you? Does the pharmacy in question have a professional with a pharmacy degree? Are you even comfortable obtaining medication from a source unknown to you, is it safe?  When it comes to medication, safety is a number one priority and any mix up can be life threatening. There are several factors to consider as you contemplate whether it’s safe or not to get your prescription medication while you are away from home.

Why it’s OK to Fill Prescriptions Away From Home

With any prescription refill away from home, the pharmacist should contact your physician to confirm the medications taken. In this light it is safe to get the prescriptions filled if you have forgotten your medication at home, while abroad. If the pharmacist is able to contact your doctor, they can get the exact prescription information, ensuring that you are getting the proper medications and dosages.

A reputable pharmacy or one suggested by your physician is a safe option as well. If you can’t get in contact with your doctor, there are situations in which you can still get the medicine you need, safely and legally, as long as you can provide the necessary information. This can include the actual prescription or if you don’t have the prescription or your original medicine container, the pharmacist can “interview” you as a way to figure out what you need, how much, and whether it is an emergency situation for which they can write you a new prescription.  This is where knowing detailed information about your prescription can come in handy.

Why it’s Not OK to Fill Prescriptions Away From Home

As stated before, if you don’t have your prescription or the pharmacist can’t get in contact with your doctor, they may be able to write you a new prescription for your medication. The safety issue comes into play when thinking about the pharmacist coming up with this information based solely upon what you tell them. If you have any doubt about your prescription name or dose, this can present a problem. If you are not exactly correct in conveying the type and amount of medicine you need, and the pharmacist gives you the wrong medication or dosage, it can put you in a life threatening situation.

Also, not knowing the pharmacists nearby or their reputation, there is a chance you could come across a pharmacist that may not be honest or upfront when conducting business. They may just simply write a prescription for anything and give it to you. The pharmacist is the key in obtaining your correct prescription, but it’s hard to trust someone you don’t know, especially in a strange or new environment.

There is also a chance your prescription could be misplaced or switched with someone else’s. Depending on where you are, there could be a serious problem trying to get certain medications, especially those with an addictive quality. In these cases you could face a penalty for handling certain medications. Trying to obtain the medications could take longer than you are used to, which can also cause problems if it is unhealthy for you to miss any doses.

Most importantly, the medicine you think you are buying may actually be something else, especially if you didn’t find a reputable source to purchase them from. They could be illegal drugs or even generic drugs when you are used to taking or need a specific brand of medication. The active ingredients in similar medicines are the same, but there could be differences in how they are made or differences in inactive ingredients that could affect you.

When it comes to your medication, put your safety first to stay healthy. Try to be prepared and plan for medication emergencies if necessary. Sometimes things happen and you may lose your medication or leave it somewhere. In this case you want to consider the factors above as you think about whether or not it’s safe to buy your prescription from someone other than your pharmacist or prescribing doctor. A safer option is to order your prescription online, which will help you avoid any issues that come from getting medications from an unknown source.