How to Build Up an Extra Medicine Supply for Emergencies at No Cost

backup medicine

Missing medication doses is dangerous for seniors

Most seniors take multiple medications to manage chronic health conditionsMissing doses could make them sick or even send them to the hospital.

That’s why it’s wise to keep extra medicine on hand – just in case something happens to your older adult’s existing supply or if their regular refills aren’t available.

We explain why your older adult would need extra medicine and how to build up an emergency supply without spending additional money.



An extra medicine supply gives peace of mind

Being prepared with extra medication saves time, energy, anxiety, and sometimes even money.

Building up a backup stash means that nobody will have to panic or suffer negative consequences when getting an immediate prescription refill isn’t possible.

It also avoids the hassle of trying to get an additional travel supply if taking a trip is necessary.

Common situations that prevent on-time prescription refills:

  • Severe weather conditions make going out unsafe or disrupt pharmacy shipments
  • You’re too sick to leave the house
  • The pharmacy is out of stock of that medication
  • There’s a glitch in the system and insurance won’t cover the medication until things get straightened out…in days or weeks


How to build up an extra medicine supply

The best part is, it won’t cost extra to build up a backup medication supply and you won’t have to convince doctors to write another prescription.

Most insurance companies (including Medicare) allow prescription refills in 25 days, so you don’t have to wait for a full month to get a refill.

The pharmacist will be able to tell you exactly when your older adult is eligible for a refill under their insurance plan.

Getting a prescription refill days earlier builds up an extra medication supply because the time between refills is shortened. That means there will be some pills left over each month.

Soon, you’ll have plenty of extra medicine on hand as backup.


Store extra medicine safely and securely

Make sure to store the extra medication separately so it doesn’t get mixed up with your older adult’s regular supply.

It’s also important to store controlled medications like painkillers securely to avoid problems.

To keep medication fresh, it’s a good idea to occasionally use the extra (older) pills and replace the backup supply with newer pills.


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: American Training


  • Reply May 17, 2018


    This system also is practical for those that may have no way to get to a pharmacy, For whatever reason, they no longer drive; public transportation may not be available.

    • Reply May 17, 2018


      Excellent point! If transportation isn’t available when a refill is needed, having some backup medication means having more flexibility.

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