COVID-19 and Crohn's: Staying Stocked With Medicine

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on January 06, 2023
2 min read

If you have Crohn’s disease, medication is probably a big part of your treatment plan. You might take drugs to ease inflammation, and different meds to fight symptoms like diarrhea and pain.

These days, you might be worried about how to safely get the meds you need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Limit your visits to the pharmacy if you can, especially if you also have any other conditions -- like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes -- or if you are older. Although you may be tempted to stop your treatment just to avoid a trip to the pharmacy.

It’s important to stick with the treatment plan that’s keeping your Crohn’s in check.

So how do you keep the medicines you need close by while keeping pharmacy trips to a minimum?

If possible, you should have at least an extra month of each drug you take regularly on hand at any given time.

Early in the pandemic, many health experts recommended that you stockpile 90 days of each medicine you take. So some insurance companies changed their rules so you can get more with each refill. Call your insurance company or your pharmacy to see what your plan allows.

Your insurance plan probably includes a mail-order pharmacy. In most cases, it can deliver a 3-month supply directly to your house. There’s usually a lower copay, too. Call your insurance company for details, and then ask your doctor or pharmacy to send your prescription there.

Many drugstores let you wait in your car until your prescription is ready. Call when you get there, and they’ll bring your medicine right out to your car. Some pharmacies also have drive-thru windows. Both options can be safer than going inside and waiting in the store.

Many major retail chains and "big-box" stores deliver prescriptions directly to your home. Small independent drugstores may do it, too. Call or check online to see what’s available near you.

In some cases, going to the pharmacy to get your medicine is the only option. If you have to go there:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a high quality mask.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people when you are in line and walking around the store.
  • Use touchless payment methods if you can.
  • Use hand sanitizer when you are finished in the store. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you return home.
  • Try to order all your prescriptions at once so you have to go to the store only once.