When Do You Need to See a Doctor for a Prescription Refill?

Many wonder why a physician requires an office visit when they need their prescription renewed – especially if they have been taking the drug for a while with no problems – but there are times when an office visit is required for the patient’s safety.

While patients often prefer having their physicians renew prescriptions without question or an office visit, that may not result in the best care. Typically, if you haven’t been seen for a while – or if the doctor is new to you and hasn’t examined you before – an office visit will be necessary. This is to assure your safety – many things can be discovered during an office visit that might not be obvious to you.

  • Your doctor may need to check whether this specific drug still makes sense for you, or if the dosage should be changed.
  • New symptoms might arise that indicate further diagnostics, resulting in a different drug that would fit you better.
  • You may have side effects without realizing their connection to your current prescription.
  • A new drug, not on the market at the time the previous drug was prescribed, might now be a better choice.
  • You may have developed new medical issues that require a change of medication.
  • Your condition may have improved, and you may be able to decrease the dosage or discontinue the drug altogether.
  • You may have begun taking an additional medication prescribed by another doctor, and that may affect whether the existing drug is still right for you.

So, while an automatic prescription renewal may be more convenient, remember that your physician recommends an office visit to assure you are taking the medications that are best for you. Of course, if you have any concerns about your prescriptions, it’s always best to give your healthcare provider a call.