When do you need advance prescriptions? - Evewoman
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When do you need advance prescriptions?

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When do you need advance prescriptions?

Dear Doctor,

I visit my gynecologist regularly, only to end up with the same prescriptions. Is there any way I can get advance prescriptions to save me from repeated and costly visits?

[Flora]

Dear Flora,

Your question is very relevant to many women. Yes, there are conditions in gynecology that require that you be on long term medication. You either get a prescription that covers you for several months, or keep coming to your gynecologist every so often to have the prescriptions renewed.

Advance prescriptions come in handy. You get a longer-term prescription that negates regular visits to your gynecologist’s office, saving you time and money.

A good example of advance prescriptions is contraceptives. If you have settled for the pill, for example, and you remain in relatively good health, coming in for a prescription every so often may not be necessary.

An advance prescription will mean you never run out of the pills. Your chances for needing emergency pills or even getting unwanted pregnancies will be almost nil. There are countless other medications that may be suitable for advance prescriptions but not all medications are suitable for advance prescriptions.

Even chronic conditions can change over time, and what was deemed suitable for long-term use may no longer be applicable. Unexpected side effects may also occur when medications are used on prolonged periods of time. It is worthwhile to have agreed intervals when you should make efforts to physically see your gynecologist, even when you end up with the same prescription.

Such visits allow for a review of your diagnosis, and any side effects that you may be experiencing. It’s also an opportunity to consider whether newer treatment alternatives may be more suitable than your current treatment.

Decisions on advance prescriptions should be mutually agreed with your gynecologist. Bring the topic up the next time you have an appointment. Explain clearly why you think advance prescriptions would work for you and then listen to your gynecologist’s viewpoint.

In many cases, you will be able to come up with limits on durations when advance prescriptions can keep you covered. Beware; some medications have restricted legal limits when it comes to repeated use. This is especially so for potentially addicting prescriptions. Your doctor will rightly decline to automate such prescriptions, mandating regular reviews to authenticate the need for continued use of such meds.

Go on and save yourself time and money with advance prescriptions whenever appropriate.

— Dr Alfred Murage is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist

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