Prescriptions: Quick Tips

  • Keep all medications somewhere that does not experience temperature extremes or humidity, and is Up and Away from children and pets.
  • Some states have emergency prescription refill laws that authorize pharmacists to dispense early refills under an emergency declaration. Contact your state health department or board of pharmacy or talk to your pharmacist to learn more about the law where you live.
  • Flu antiviral drugs work best when started within two days of symptoms starting. Don’t delay because your regular pharmacy doesn’t carry your medication. Use MedFinderexternal icon to locate a pharmacy that can fill your prescription.
  • Organize and protect prescription medications to prepare for flooding. Place medication bottles or packages in a waterproof container or bag, such as a freezer-safe, re-sealable plastic bag.
  • Stay up to date on your vaccines for infections and illnesses, such as tetanus and seasonal flu.
  • Know the shelf lives and proper storage temperatures for your prescriptions, including insulin. Some medicines, when kept in areas with high humidity or fluctuating temperatures or left in direct light, degrade faster and can lose effectiveness.
  • Pet owners: Work with your veterinarian to prepare an emergency supply of medications, and a one-month supply of flea, tick, and heartworm preventative.
  • People living with diabetes: In an emergency, you may need to use a different insulin brand or type. You should work with your doctor if you need to switch insulin. If medical supervision is not possible under emergency conditions, follow this emergency guidance from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)external icon. Make sure to closely monitor your blood glucose and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Know how to safely dispose of expired, unwanted, and unused medicinesexternal icon, including prescription medications, to help prevent adverse drug events.
Page last reviewed: August 17, 2020, 03:40 PM