Make Sure You Have Enough Medication

Medically Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on July 16, 2020

Maybe you take medication every day to prevent migraines. Or maybe you use it to stop a headache once it starts. Whatever the case, you don't want to run out of medication and risk a migraine that can stop you in your tracks.

That's of special concern during a pandemic, when you're limiting trips to the pharmacy and grocery store. But if you plan ahead and take advantage of technology, you can manage your migraine treatment from a safe social distance.

Stock Up

It's a good idea to keep at least a month's supply of migraine medication -- prescription and over-the-counter -- on hand. Three months' worth is even better. Check with your doctor, insurance company, and pharmacy to see what’s allowed.

If you have more than one prescription, ask your pharmacist if you can get them all scheduled for refills at the same time. That will keep you from having to make return trips to the drugstore.

Home Delivery

Don’t want to make a trip to the pharmacy? You don’t have to. Most major chains, as well as  independent and online pharmacies, will deliver to your home. Some charge extra, but many don't.

You might order online, with an app, or over the phone. The pharmacy may deliver directly to your home or use a delivery service like UPS or the post office.

Delivery sometimes take a few days, so don’t wait until you’re down to your last pill.

If you have specific delivery instructions, like a gated entry or passcode, be sure to mention those when you order. 

Ask for a delivery time window so you can make sure you're home. Some deliveries require a signature. Most medications should be kept at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. So don't leave your delivery sitting out on the porch for too long.

Mail-Order Pharmacies

Many insurance companies operate or contract with mail-order pharmacies. If you use one of them, you might reduce your co-pay as well as get medicines delivered to your home. Shipping is often free. And some let you order a bigger supply of medication at once than a regular pharmacy.

Ask your doctor and insurance company about your options.

Use Curbside or Drive-Thru Pick Up

Most pharmacies have a drive-thru window or offer curbside pickup to help everyone, including their employees, stay safe. Wear a mask, and ask the associate to sign for you if you don’t feel comfortable touching a pen or keypad when you pay.

To avoid an unnecessary trip, make sure your prescription is ready before you head out to pick it up. If you need to ask your pharmacist a question, do it over the phone.  

Ask a Friend to Help

Just as an adult would pick up a prescription for a child or an aging parent, a friend, family member, or neighbor can pick up your prescription for you.

Pharmacies sometimes ask for a date of birth, so make sure your helper knows what yours is. You may be able to pay in advance as well. There's no need to let your pharmacist know ahead of time.

WebMD Medical Reference



National Council on Aging: "Ensuring Access to Needed Medications During the COVID-19 Pandemic."

Consumer Reports: "Pharmacies Make It Easier, Cheaper to Get Prescriptions Delivered During Pandemic."

Advent Health: "How to Get Prescriptions Filled During the COVID-19 Pandemic."

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