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What to do if you forget your prescription medication

You have planned for this trip for weeks now. Everything is packed, the dog has been taken care of, and your neighbor will get your mail. You have just boarded the airplane to venture out on your long awaited vacation. Suddenly you realize, "I left my medicine at home!"

With all the hectic preparation needed to get ready for your vacation, you are bound to forget something. Often times your prescriptions get left behind because it is not something you care to think about when having a good time. How often do you think about taking medication when you are out having fun?

When traveling within the United States, the solution to this problem is simple. You basically go to a local drug store and ask someone to call your pharmacy at home for a new prescription. In pharmacy terminology, this is called a "copy" or "transfer." You should have the name and phone number of your pharmacy to give to the staff member at the new pharmacy. You should also know the name of your medication as this will help if there is any confusion.

There could be a problem if your prescription has no refills or is a controlled substance. If you do not have refills, your doctor will have to be contacted before any more medication can be dispensed to you. Occasionally, in resort towns or places that rely heavily on tourism, the pharmacist may create a new prescription without contacting your doctor.

For instance, you forgot the medication for your diabetes and you will be away from home for seven days. You go into the local pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to call for your transfer. The pharmacist informs you that there are no more refills on that particular prescription. The pharmacist could either call your doctor for authorization, or, at his discretion, create a new prescription for a week's worth of your medication.

For controlled substances, those medications which have an addictive quality to them, the situation is more complex. The rules change depending on the individual state, medication, and comfort level of the pharmacist. Some states do not allow controlled substances to be transferred in from another state. If the pharmacist cannot transfer your prescription, for any reason, you will have to visit a local clinic or see a local doctor to get your medication.

Be prepared to wait longer and pay more than you would expect for just a few day's worth of your prescription. If you have prescription insurance, your insurance company will usually not pay for this emergency supply. They have already paid for this medication and will probably not pay again. You may be stuck with the entire cost of your prescription.

Forgetting to bring your medication along with you does not have to be an agonizing problem. Remain calm, the pharmacist understands and should try and help you as much as possible. The most important thing is to get your medicine so you can enjoy your vacation with the worry of getting sick. It may cost you some money and a couple hours of time to get the problem solved, but don't let it ruin your good time.

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