If you don't know what to do if you miss a dose, call the Yale Health Center Pharmacy at 203-432-0033 to speak with a pharmacist.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I miss a dose?
Do I have to take my medications at the times indicated even if it means getting up in the middle of the night?
You should try to take your medication as close to the scheduled times as possible. For example, if you have a medication that should be taken every eight hours, take one in the morning when you get up, take one in the early to mid-afternoon and one before bed. This will allow enough time between doses so that you won't have to get up during the night. If you have any questions, ask the pharmacist.
Why do I have to stay out of the sun when taking certain medications?
Some medications such as tetracycline and hydrochlorothiazide react to sunlight, especially ultraviolet rays, making you more susceptible to sunburn. It is important that you stay out of direct sunlight when you are taking medications that cause this photosensitivity and that you wear sun block outdoors.
Do I always have to finish my medication?
You should take all medications exactly as prescribed. If the medication is an antibiotic, it is essential that you finish it even if you start to feel better after only a couple of days. You may feel better, however, if you do not finish the medication, some bacteria can survive and develop resistance to the medication, meaning that the next time you are infected by this organism, the medication may not clear the infection. Other medications can sometimes be stopped before they are finished, but you should consult your clinician.
Why can't I take certain medications with dairy products or fruit juices?
Certain drugs (such as tetracycline and ciprofloxacin) bind with nutrients found in dairy products to form inactive substances. With fruit juice, the acidity of the juice may begin to break down the tablet before it has reached the site where it is meant to be absorbed. This will cause diminished effectiveness.
Grapefruit juice in particular has been found to alter the effectiveness of some medications such atorvastatin, nifedipine, and alprazolam because it inhibits the metabolism of certain chemicals. Ask your pharmacist about potential food and beverage interactions.
What if I lose my medication?
Your medication may be replaced, but it is not a covered benefit so you will need to pay full price. It may also need to be reapproved by your clinician; e.g. controlled substances.
What is step therapy?
Step therapy is the recommendation of certain medications for use after a patient has attempted treatment with a preferred product, according to standards of care or institutional guidelines.
What is prior authorization for prescriptions?
Some medications require approval beyond the clinician's prescription before they can be dispensed, or in other words, require prior authorization. This process ensures appropriate use of certain drugs which are approved for very specific conditions.
When prescribing any of these drugs, the clinician will be asked to submit a prior authorization form to the pharmacy, documenting the clinical need for the medication as well as other clinical criteria related to the use of the medication. This form will then be reviewed by a clinical team. The team will work with your clinician to review the request and develop the optimal therapy for you.
If the request is approved, a member of this clinical team will notify you of the approval. If the request is not approved, both you and the prescribing clinician will be notified. Denials can be appealed through the Yale Health appeal process.
How should I properly dispose of my medications?
Do I have to discard my medication if it is past the expiration date?
When medications reach their expiration date, the chemical begins to degrade, meaning that that the drug will not be as effective. Some medications can become toxic after the expiration date. You should consult with your pharmacist about any medication that has expired, but it is always safest to discard expired medications.
Is the quality of a generic drug as good as its brand name equivalent?
Yes. It is closely regulated by the FDA. A generic will be approved for sale only after a drug is named a brand name drug's therapeutic equivalent. This means that the generic medication produces the same clinical effect and has the same safety profile as the brand name product.
The Yale Health Center Pharmacy uses only generic medications that are therapeutically equivalent to the brand name product. You must follow directions to assure effectiveness of medication.
How does a brand name medication become a generic medication?
When a medication is first developed it is protected by a patent for 20 years. However, as long as 10 years may pass between the drug's development and its actual approval. This leaves the manufacturer only the remaining seven years for exclusive sale of the medication.
After the patent expires, other companies may produce and sell the same medication with FDA approval. These become the generic versions and can be sold, in most cases, for less money because less research and development must be completed to reach FDA approval. Currently, over 50 percent of all brand name products have a generic equivalent available.
What is a generic medication?
"Generic" describes a more cost-effective version of a well-known and widely used brand name medication. The generic name stems from the chemical name and is chosen by the U.S. Adopted Names Council. In accordance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, generic drugs have the same active ingredients as their brand name equivalents and should be absorbed into the body at the same rate as their parent brand named drugs.
How do I know if my drug is covered and what tier it is in?
Review the Yale Health Drug List on our web site. The Drug List:
- Provides access to quality medications
- Promotes appropriate and cost-effective therapy
- Provides clinicians with information relating to alternative therapies
- Gives members information to help them discuss medications with their clinician