Getting your medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from the drugstore involves a lot of steps: You get the written prescription from your doctor, bring it to the pharmacist, and then pick up your meds a few hours or even days later.
It’s possible to get these medications delivered to your door. But is this something you should do? There’s a lot to consider.
Home Delivery: Is It Right for You?
Most ADHD meds are stimulants. These drugs “rev up” parts of the brain that aren’t stimulated enough in people with ADHD. They’re “schedule II drugs” and strictly controlled by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. There’s a big risk of abuse and possible addiction.
Because they’re schedule II drugs, you may not be able to get a bulk delivery. State regulations on prescribing these types of medications vary, so you may be able to get only a month’s worth of your ADHD medication at a time and need a new prescription for each refill. Some states also require an electronic prescription be submitted by the doctor.
Check whether your insurance company has a mail-order option. Depending on your coverage and the rules in your state, your doctor may be able to write up to a 90-day prescription. It may be easier if your doctor can “eprescribe.” That’s a secure way to electronically send in a prescription. Some doctors don’t want to write large prescriptions for these medications.
If you’re still working to find the right medication for your ADHD, you might want to hold off on getting a large delivery. You don’t want to order a big supply that you may end up not using.
If home delivery still sounds like an option for you, then weigh the pros and cons of getting your meds this way:
Pro: You're more likely to be able to get your medication. Drugstore pharmacies don’t always have your meds in stock. Sometimes, you go to fill your prescription and find out that you can’t get it, perhaps for days. They often don’t keep a lot of ADHD stimulant medications on hand. This is partly because pharmacies can be robbed of schedule II drugs. So you may end up going from pharmacy to pharmacy, searching for one that has it in stock, or you may just give up and miss doses.
By contrast, mail-order pharmacies keep more ADHD medicine in stock, or they can buy what you need from a wholesaler in about a day.
Con: The delivery can’t just be dropped off. An adult needs to be there to sign for your package. If someone isn’t normally at home, you may be able to set up delivery to where you work.
Pro: It could save you money on copays. For instance, a copay on a common ADHD medication might be $100 for a 30-day prescription, but $200 for a 90-day one. Of course, you’ll have to shell out more money up front to save down the road. This might not be an option if you’re on a tight monthly budget.
Con: You can’t use coupons found on some drugmakers’ websites at mail-order pharmacies.
Pro and con: You may get a lot of medication at once. That can be convenient, but it can be unsafe to keep a stockpile. Is there someone you live with who might take your medication? For example, if you’re a college student, it might not be smart to keep a lot of medication on hand. Stimulant abuse is rampant on college campuses. Some students who don’t have ADHD misuse the medication to cram for tests, pull all-nighters, lose weight, or even get high.
Friends or even strangers may ask you to give or sell them your meds. That’s illegal. Keep the fact that you take ADHD meds to yourself, and store your pills in a safe place so they don’t get stolen.
It can take a couple of weeks to get your medications delivered to your home, especially if it’s the first time. So if you decide it’s what you want to do, make sure you have enough to tide you over while you wait for your first shipment.