Published on October 10, 2023

5 Factors to Consider When Buying Medicine

As communication channels have improved in the world thanks to the internet and social media, they have also caused a lot of misinformation, especially in the health sector. You may have seen this phenomenon during the COVID-19 pandemic when people promoted all sorts of ‘health hacks’ to prevent the virus in Clarksville which were unscientific.

Finding correct health information is a difficult task in this world where there are so many snake oil merchants. While people may propose all sorts of alternative medicine and encourage you to self-medicate, you should always get your medication from a trusted and reputable pharmacy in Clarksville with a doctor’s prescription. That said, knowing which pharmacy to trust in Tennessee can be a difficult decision since there are hundreds of options to choose from. 

Here’s what you must consider before buying medicine:

Buy Only From a Trusted Pharmacy

You will encounter various people offering you different medicines for your problems. Some may be your relatives and friends who have genuine intentions. Still, you should never just use anyone’s medications and get yours straight from an accredited pharmacy, as their medicines may be contraindicated for you. A pharmacist will check your history, ask for any other medications you take, and then give you some that do not interfere with your other physiological functions. 

But not all pharmacies are created equal. Ensure that you buy only from an accredited pharmacy near your location. Google is a great way to find new pharmacies. For example, if you live in Clarksville, TN, you can Google medical supply store Clarksville TN to see all the nearby pharmacies. Identify which ones are located conveniently and check their reviews to see if you can trust them. 

Thanks to the internet, it is now possible to shop online for medicines. Some pharmacies may offer home-delivery services; consider them if you cannot pick up medication—however, exercise due diligence when shopping for medication online and do not buy from untrusted sources.

Know the Difference between OTC and Prescription Drugs

You can get some drugs from a pharmacy without showing any doctor’s prescription. But you will need to show a prescription for most medicines. 

When you plan a pharmacy trip, determine if the medicine you require is available over-the-counter (OTC) or a prescription medicine. OTC treatments include cough remedies, basic painkillers like ibuprofen, antacids, and allergy pills. These are generally safe with minimal side effects and treat everyday issues, so you don’t need a doctor’s prescription. 

However, you will need a doctor’s prescription for medicines that treat more severe issues. These can be your blood pressure or diabetes drugs. They have serious side effects, so a doctor prescribes them only when needed and in controlled doses. Taking only prescription drugs reduces the chances of adverse drug reactions, allergies, or hypersensitivity reactions, as your doctor will check the potential medicine against your history.

If you require a prescription drug, you must carry a prescription when going to the pharmacy. Otherwise, your trip will be in vain: the pharmacist will not sell you the medication. If you don’t have a prescription, consult your doctor before going to the pharmacy.

Check for the Medicine’s Integrity

You must ensure your medicine’s integrity. Check for the condition of packaging and labeling and the medicine’s expiry. Do not accept the medication if its packaging has been tampered with or expired.

Check for the medicine’s packaging: it should show no sign of being tampered with or damaged. If you buy a syrup, ensure its seal is intact.  Also, check for the label to confirm you purchased the correct medicine. Cross-check the drug’s name, dosage, and instructions and ensure they match your prescription. 

Check the medicine’s expiration date, too. Do not buy it if it is expired or will expire before your course is completed. Expired medication won’t be helpful as it loses its potency and degrades. Some drugs also undergo chemical changes when they expire, producing substances that are harmful to your body. Using expired antibiotics also contributes to antibiotic resistance as they are ineffective against bacteria.

Consider Storage Requirements

Medicines have stringent storage requirements, or else they can go bad. When buying medicine, consider if your medicine cabinet fits those storage requirements. Otherwise, you need a better storage cabinet.

Store your medication in a cool, dry area. Generally, you should store medicines at room temperature, around 20-25 degrees. Don’t store them in either extreme heat or cold. To achieve the desired temperature, consider putting them in a refrigerator if you are from a hot climate. Some medicines are also light-sensitive: ensure you store them in opaque objects, or light will degrade them.

You should never store medicines in a humid area, like the bathroom. Moisture promotes bacterial and fungal growth, so your medication can get infected. Always keep your prescription in a dry place.

If you have children, take extra care storing your drugs. Around 35,000 children end up in emergency rooms every year because of ingesting medicines when an adult wasn’t looking. Ensure you keep medicines where toddlers cannot reach them easily. 

Consider Medicine Price

Healthcare has become very expensive, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover all medication. You can get cheaper medicine without compromising on the quality.

One easy way to reduce your pharmacy bill is to ask for generic medicine instead of branded one. The generic drug has the same active compound as the branded medicine and serves the same purpose but would be cheaper as a different manufacturer makes it. Remember that the generic medication may differ from the brand in color, size, or packaging, and that’s okay! 

 Some medications require authorization from your insurance company before they cover their costs. Your provider may also need you to try step therapy, in which you try less expensive alternatives first. Check your insurance company’s policy in time to get the medicine you need at affordable prices. If you still owe too much, check your eligibility for a government assistance program. 

Many pharmacies offer discounts and loyalty programs. If you are eligible, signing up for them can reduce your bill. Generally, these offers are available when you order medication online or pay through PayPal.

Conclusion

You can never be too careful when buying medicine. You take medication to improve your health, so you wouldn’t want it to affect your health negatively.

Ensure you choose a reputable pharmacy and don’t self-medicate. Always take your prescription with you unless you are shopping for over-the-counter drugs. Be careful when buying the drug: don’t get expired or damaged medicines. Once you get the medicine, store it in a cool and dry place away from children. And, of course, ensure you don’t buy overpriced medicine by choosing generic ones. 

By following these tips, your next pharmacy run will be less stressful. Good luck!


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