Even the most organised of us can occasionally run out of medicine. Forgetting to reorder is unfortunately very easy to do! But fortunately, there are things you can do.

It is important to take medicine on a regular basis and as directed by your doctor/clinician. Therefore, it is useful to take action when you do run out.

Sometimes it can be hard to manage your medicine

Requesting an emergency supply

If you are going to run out of medicine before your prescription will be ready – you can visit the pharmacy where you receive the medicine and ask them for an emergency supply.

The pharmacy may not be able to provide an emergency supply – especially if it is a niche medicine that not many people take. But you can certainly request it.

In order to prove that you take the medicine, it is advisable for you to take the empty box of tablets with you.

A small payment may be required. Alternatively, the supply may be taken out of your next prescription. For example, if you receive 28 tablets per month but are given an emergency supply of 7 tablets, your next prescription would provide 21 tablets.

What happens if there is no emergency supply?

While this would only work on a weekday, you could contact your GP or mental health professional – as they might be able to write an emergency prescription.

If they aren’t working then this will not work, but it can certainly be worth a try. They may also have a colleague that will be able to step in – but this isn’t always possible.

What happens if the above steps don’t work?

It can be difficult if your pharmacy does not have an emergency supply of the medicine. You could feasibly visit other pharmacies in the area to see if they can provide you with an emergency supply. But as they won’t have you listed as a customer it may be challenging.

You could also go to your nearest hospital as they may have a bigger selection of medicines. But again, this may not be possible.

If none of the above steps work, sadly you will most likely need to stop taking the medicine temporarily. Try and get a supply as soon as possible and you should be able to resume taking the medicine as normal. Contact a doctor if you are unsure about this.

Steps you can take to avoid running out of medicine

One of the best things you can do is to set a reminder on your phone or email for when it is time to order your next batch of medicines. This is relevant if you get a repeat prescription.

Some people like to use trays to put each of their tablets in for the 7 days ahead. This can help you to keep track of the week ahead and will give you warning when it is time to reorder your medicine.


Running out of medicine is a frustrating thing to do, but it happens to many people. Pharmacists will be aware of this and will hopefully be able to help.

There are a few steps that you can take if you do need medicine quickly. But as covered above, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of running out of medicine ever again!

See Also



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