What Type of Medication Can an Urgent Care Doctor Prescribe?


One of the many great conveniences of urgent care clinics is that many have their own pharmacy, which eliminates the patient’s need to go to another location after a visit. Urgent care clinics also accept most insurance plans, which provides flexible, and affordable prescriptions.
 
Doctors that work at these urgent care clinics are able to prescribe medications just as a primary care physician would. Certain medications require monitoring, which would mean additional follow-up appointments for the patient, or a referral to a primary care doctor. Patients can be assured that whether they are seeing a physician assistant or a doctor at an urgent care, the clinician will be able to prescribe medication, and get the patient treated as fast as possible by always keeping the patient’s health in mind.
 
Types of Medications Doctors Prescribe at an Urgent Care Center:
Antibiotics: If a patient is going to an urgent care clinic due to a possible infection, it is good to know that the doctors and physician assistants at the clinic are able to prescribe antibiotics. Urgent care centers stock all of the common antibiotics, and most will be able to fill a prescription for the patient before he or she leaves the appointment.
 
Short-Term Pain Medications: If a patient goes into an urgent care clinic with an injury such as a slipped disk or severe back pain, some urgent care clinics will be able to prescribe short-term pain medications. However, not all urgent care centers are allowed to prescribe pain medications, and there are some that will prescribe based on the patient’s condition.
 
One-Time Maintenance Medications: For patients in need of a maintenance medication because they ran out of refills, the urgent care clinic will most likely not provide them with a full refill, but can give the patient a one-time dose until he or she is able to get in touch with a doctor for a refill on that medication. Certain one-time medications available include cholesterol medications, blood pressure medications, and medications to treat diabetes.
 
Asthma and Allergy Medications: For patients visiting an urgent care clinic for allergies or asthma, the physician will be able to prescribe appropriate medications. Long-term allergy medication recommendations can also be made.
 
Antiviral Medication: Antiviral medications, such as those to treat the flu, are available at urgent care clinics. Patients who think they have the flu should get checked out as soon as possible in order for the antiviral medication to work properly.
 
Medications for Stomach Conditions: Patients who suffer with stomach issues, such as constipation or acid reflux, may be able to go to an urgent care clinic for a short-term medication for 30 days or less until they are able to see their primary physician or a gastrointestinal specialist.
 
Types of Medications That Most Likely Will Not Be Prescribed at Urgent Care
While there are many types of medications that can be prescribed at an urgent care clinic, there are certain medications that are often not prescribed by urgent care doctors.
Prescription Refills: If a patient forgot to get a refill from his or her doctor at the last visit, and the patient’s refills are all out, it is unlikely he or she will be able to obtain a refill at an urgent care. Most of the time urgent care doctors will not approve of the prescription refill request, because chronic conditions that require long-term medications are best monitored by a primary physician, who will be monitoring the patient through the medication treatment, and can help with lifestyle changes due to the condition.
 
If the patient does not have a primary care physician, an urgent care doctor would be able to provide a referral to go see one, so that the patient can make a long-term relationship with a doctor who could monitor the condition and medications.
 
Narcotics: Narcotics are not likely to be prescribed at urgent care clinics, in hopes of reducing drug abuse issues. Narcotics are typically prescribed by a primary doctor who is able to carefully monitor the patient’s condition.
 
Long-Term Pain Management: Similar to narcotics, long-term pain management medications will most likely not be prescribed at urgent care clinics due to the fact that urgent care physicians will not be following up with the patient long term. Primary care doctors who have the ability to see the patient often, and follow up on pain management long term would be the ones prescribing these types of medications.
 
Anti-Anxiety Medications: Because urgent care physicians are not psychiatrists, and do not monitor patients long term, it is important to know that anxiety and anti-depression medications cannot be prescribed at urgent care center.
 
When Should Patients Go to Urgent Care for Medication
While urgent care doctors are not able to prescribe all medications, such as narcotics, anxiety medications, and long term pain management medications, they are able to prescribe many medications or give health tips to help treat bacterial, viral, and other conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, by prescribing a onetime dose.
 
Patients who are sick and believe they are dealing with an infection should visit an urgent care center, since the provider there is able to prescribe medication. Patients should also go to an urgent care center if they have accidentally run out of refills of management medications, and need a single dose, or if they are on vacation and misplaced a medication that they need to maintain overall health.
 
Urgent care doctors are able to prescribe medications to treat patients, and get them feeling better. The main goal at urgent care clinics is to get patients seen quickly and have them treated appropriately and with the utmost care. The physician will always prescribe medication that he or she thinks is best for each individual patient’s condition or refer the patient to a primary care physician who can monitor any possible long-term condition.
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