Many people don’t know that you can deliver your pet’s prescriptions to the same pharmacy they get their meds from. You can even save a lot of money by doing this! Here’s what you need to know.
While most people have heard of mail-order drug delivery from services like 1-800-PetMeds, it may not have occurred to them to walk into the local Walgreen’s or Costco Pharmacy and get a prescription for ol’ Fido.
But many of the prescription drugs that animals take are the same as drugs prescribed for various human ailments. However, there are a few ins and outs to keep in mind to have a smooth experience, save the most money, and avoid the rare dangers of using a human pharmacy for pet medicine.
What pet prescriptions can your pharmacy fill?
The good news is that your local pharmacy can fill quite a few common pet prescriptions! Here’s an overview of what can usually be filled where and how you can still save money even if you find yourself in situations where a particular drug is only used by vets.
Pharmacies can fill human medicines for animals
While discovering that your dog with a heart problem needs medications such as enalapril, furosemide, or spironolactone may be the first time you hear those drug names, they are common medications that are not only available at the pharmacy in your vet’s office, but also at regular pharmacies. the street.
There’s a lot more crossover than you might think. Your dog may even be put on sildenafil to treat pulmonary hypertension. Sildenafil may not be in your mental index of drugs, but the brand name, Viagra, probably is — no really, Viagra started out as a heart drug and its better-known use was a secondary side effect discovered later.
Practically speaking, most pharmacies can fill any prescription for which there is a human equivalent. Blood pressure medication, blood thinners, diuretics, antibiotics, painkillers, steroids, you name it, there is a huge overlap between human and veterinary medicine. The only real difference is the dosage. Your Pomeranian is going to take a very small dose of the same pain therapy medication you would take.
Pharmacies generally do not have veterinary medicines in stock
If a drug is used to treat hypertension or the like in both humans and animals, chances are you can get the prescription filled at your local pharmacy.
For drug formulations used strictly in veterinary medicine, such as heartworm treatments, prescription flea treatments, and the like, finding them at a regular human pharmacy is practically unheard of.
There are some exceptions to the animal-only problem
When it comes to finding veterinary-only drugs at pharmacies, there are two notable exceptions to watch out for.
The first is warehouse club pharmacies like the Costco Pharmacy, which can be found in-store at Costco locations across the United States. Not only does Costco stock drugs used in human medicine for your pet, but they have a program where they offer about 150 common veterinary drugs at a discount.
This includes not only preventatives like Nexgard and Heartgard, but also significant discounts on expensive heart medications like Vetmedin. If you have a Costco near you, I can’t recommend this option enough. Thanks to the savings at Costco, a 3-month prescription refill costs less than what I used to pay for a 1-month refill. Even though mail-order services like 1-800-PetMeds have better prices than my vet’s office, the Costco pharmacy beat that one.
Sam’s Club has a similar program where you can pick up both traditional medicines and only veterinary medicines from the pharmacy in the store.
The other option is to contact your local compounding pharmacy. Collaborating pharmacies are used to working with a much wider range of medicines. From special formulations for your pet to less common medications for yourself, it’s always a smart move to call and check your local compounding pharmacy.
What do you need to fill pet recipes?
Prescribing your pet at a regular pharmacy is quite simple. Even if you feel like you’re the odd one out calling Walgreen’s to fill out a script for your dog, we can assure you that you’re probably one of a long list of local customers doing the same.
In some cases, you may even need to go to a regular pharmacy to fill the script. Not many vet offices have hydrocodone syrup on hand, for example, and you’ll have to call around to find a pharmacy that does.
Here are a few things to keep in mind and expect from the experience.
The pharmacy will likely create a customer profile for your pet associated with you, especially if the prescription is for a controlled substance. If your name is John Smith and your dog’s name is Skipper, there will likely be a John “Skipper” Smith in their system. For most prescriptions, the pharmacy only needs the prescription with the vet license number. Most medications can be called by the vet. Prescriptions for narcotics and controlled substances usually have to be submitted in person to the pharmacy. For controlled substances, the pharmacy also needs the Vet’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number. This is the veterinary equivalent of a human doctor’s National Provider Identifier (NPI). Usually, you can’t fill a multi-month prescription of a controlled substance like tramadol or hydrocodone syrup. You will likely need to replenish your pet’s stock monthly. Furthermore, controlled substances will likely require you to sign additional forms and even be routed through a database (but if you’re already getting the drugs from your vet, you’ll be familiar with this process). Insurance discounts don’t apply unless you have pet insurance or use a general discount card like GoodRX.
Aside from adapting to the specific workflow required for your pet’s prescription (such as going to the vet first to get a paper prescription for a controlled substance before going to the pharmacy), it’s really quite simple.
Is it safe to fill pet prescriptions at a regular pharmacy?
If you’re a devoted pet parent, you probably have one last and important question. Is it safe to fill pet prescriptions at your local pharmacy?
The answer is that in almost all cases, yes, it is perfectly safe to do so. The local pharmacy will be just as strict with safety checks and standards, if not more so, than your vet’s office.
However, there are two situations to consider when using a regular pharmacy could be a problem.
Dosage and Pill Cutting Problems
If your pet needs a very small and precise dose of certain medications, you can have problems. The local pharmacy may only stock larger tablets and, in the case of medications that are particularly crumbly, using a pill cutter to halve or quarter them may be imprecise enough that your pet could have too much or too little of it. receive the medication.
Discuss this with your vet if you are considering having the medication filled in a different location.
Beware of toxic ingredients
Your vet will not prescribe a drug that is toxic to your pet. However, the pharmacy may prepare the drug in a way that is toxic to your pet.
In very rare cases the medication, such as medicines prepared for humans, may contain compounds that are dangerous to your pet.
For example, some pharmacies will sweeten cough syrups and other liquid medicines with xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener. Xylitol is fine for human consumption, but toxic to dogs and can cause hypoglycemia, liver damage and even death.
If you have a prescription filled at a regular pharmacy, talk to your vet about this potential problem beforehand so you can take appropriate precautions at the pharmacy.
Not only can you have all your pet’s prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy you use, but you can even save a bundle!
This post Save money by filling pet prescriptions at a regular pharmacy – LifeSavvy
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