Getting a repeat prescription
Many people have to take medicines for a long time for all kinds of conditions. When they need a new supply from their GP, it is done through a ‘repeat prescription’. You need to be organised, but once you get into the habit, it is quite straightforward.
Do not leave ordering your prescription until you have run out of your medication. When you can see that you have a week left of your medicine, put your order in then, so that you have the new medication before the old ones run out.
You first need to put in your order at your GP practice:
- You might have an ordering slip that was attached to your last prescription. It has all your details, and the medicines, on it. You just have to tick the one/s you want and hand it in at the GP reception desk.
- If you do not have a slip, write down your name and address and which medicine/s you need on a piece of paper, and hand it in at the desk. Some GP practices have request forms at the desk.
- Most GP practices do not take telephone orders for repeat prescriptions. Then you have to wait – usually for two ‘working days’ (not including weekends or bank holidays) – before you can go and collect your prescription from the practice.
- Some GP practices now let you order repeat prescriptions online at a special website. Ask your GP or receptionist if you are interested in this.
You can then take the prescription to the pharmacy:
- They keep most medicines for mental health conditions in stock, but if it is not used by many of their customers (or they have run out of it) then they may have to order it in. This means that you might have to wait until the next day for it.
- Some pharmacies offer a service where they will order and collect your repeat prescription for you from the GP. You phone the pharmacy when you need your medicine and then pick the medicine up direct from the pharmacy a few days later. Ask at your local pharmacy if you would like them to help you with this. You still need to leave plenty of time.
Every so often you will have a medicine review with your GP or practice nurse. They may want you to do this before they give you your new prescription, just to check that the medicine is still right for you. So give yourself plenty of time to get your prescription.
Your pharmacist may also ask how you are getting on with your medicines from time to time. This could be a short chat, or sometimes a 5-10 minute sit-down review in a private place. See more about Medicines Use Review here.
If you have a problem with your repeat prescription or accidentally run out of any of your regular medicines, you can probably get an emergency supply from your pharmacy.