With the rush of everything, there is to do before you leave for your vacation, you may forget medication for your holiday. You remembered to pack the extra batteries for the camera and plenty of shoes, but your medications, which you rely on, are still sitting on the bathroom counter. You didn’t even realize it until you were well on your away. What do you do?
Medications for substance abuse recovery or mental health disorders are vital to your well-being. Most often, these drugs need to be taken consistently and at specific intervals to be effective. It can be worrisome to think about what could happen if you just skip using them, especially in a high-stress situation while on vacation.
Take a Deep Breath – There’s Help if You Forget Medication on Holiday
When you’re facing a situation of lost medication replacement, your primary goal should be to determine what options are available to you for getting medications at your current location. Chances are very good that you’re not the first person in the area you are traveling to who has experienced this problem. Sometimes, the local hotel clerk can offer advice and guidance.
Once you calm yourself, try to write down all of the medications you’re taking. Many times, doctor’s offices and pharmacies have online accounts with your medical records on them.
You may be able to log in and view the medication names, dosage information, and frequency of use. Once you’ve created a list, consider a few tips to help you get those medications as you need them.
Do You Have to Take Them?
First, contact your doctor’s office by phone if possible. Explain the situation to your doctor or nurse on call. Then, determine if you have to take these medications.
It’s absolutely never a good idea to skip a medication if it’s critical or important to your care. However, some medications may not be as essential as others. Work with your doctor to determine what you must take as a first step.
If you do have medications you must take, don’t panic. In some situations, panicking can create psychosomatic symptoms. You may suddenly feel ill or out of control, or you may feel the symptoms you once had are happening again.
This is generally just a manifestation of your panic. Once you calm down, keep going through this process.
Look for Help on the Go
You may be able to get help from a local pharmacy to refill your medications. For example, CVS Emergency Refill is a service that’s available in some areas. If you’re traveling and you need medication right away, you may be able to use this service.
They will contact your doctor to verify your prescription, and you can pick up your medication at a CVS near you. This is a one-time service and is available to those who need to take medication on a daily basis.
If there’s a branch for your current pharmacy located near where you are, contact them first. They may have connected records that can help you. They will need to verify your prescription and get approval from your doctor for a refill if it’s too soon.
However, this is easier to do than you may think. You can learn how to get medication while traveling by just giving them a call or visiting in person.
You may have to pay out-of-pocket for your medication refill if your health insurance won’t pay for it. However, you may be able to sidestep this requirement if you ask your doctor to write a new prescription for the same medicine from the new location. Whether this will work depends on the type of medication and any restrictions from your doctor or your health insurance provider on how frequently you can obtain it.
Getting Medication Abroad
If you’re traveling abroad, it can be much harder to obtain replacement medications. However, many pharmacies and doctors’ offices in other countries, especially in tourist areas, are familiar with this situation.
Approach the location available to you (perhaps recommended by your hotel) to inquire about the steps to take. It may require a phone call to your doctor or pharmacy back home. You may need to obtain a fax from your doctor’s office, also something the hotel can help you with.
The key concern in obtaining medication abroad is paying for it. That’s because your health insurance is not likely to pay. However, if you have travel insurance, you may have some help.
A travel insurance policy generally includes prescription medication coverage as part of the plan. You can request medications based on your previous doctor’s prescription from a local doctor and then file a claim for the cost through your travel insurance.
If you’re finding it difficult to locate a doctor abroad to help you, turn to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers for help.
There Could Be Complications and Limitations
Depending on where you travel, you may not be able to get all your medications locally. Some may not be available in the country at all.
In these situations, it’s best to work with the local doctor to determine the best course of treatment. Most often, doctors are willing to help you protect your health and can offer solutions to most situations.
For drugs that may be considered illegal, such as narcotics, it may not be possible to find an equivalent solution. However, doctors can offer other assistance until you get home.
Avoid trying to send medications in the mail. This can create problems for the medicine due to temperature changes. In some cases, it can also be illegal.
Rather, turn to your regular doctor to inquire about additional help if you can’t find that help where you are. In some cases, your doctor at home can tell you step-by-step what to do.