Most people take some form of pain medication from time to time, whether it's to get rid of a stubborn headache or treat a minor injury. For people living with a chronically painful condition, however, their prescription pain medicine is a real lifeline. That makes it a potentially serious problem if you accidentally lose or run out of your medication.
Suddenly finding yourself without your pain relief is bad enough when it happens during the day, but if you realise outside normal hours, it's a real worry. Here are some tips on how to cope when your medication runs out at a difficult time.
Find an out-of-hours pharmacy
If you're able to find a 24-hour pharmacy, this is usually your best course of action. It opens up several helpful possibilities.
First of all, a pharmacist may be able to provide you with an emergency supply of your medication. This depends on what the medication is and is ultimately up to the pharmacist's discretion, but if you're able to do this, it's the best way to resolve the problem.
If you can't get emergency medication, the pharmacist can still help you. They may be able to recommend an over-the-counter alternative to tide you over until you can get a new prescription, and can also advise you on other aspects of pain relief and dealing with your condition.
Use OTC pain relievers
If you have some over-the-counter medicine available, it may provide you with enough relief to get a good night's sleep and obtain a new prescription in the morning.
Contact friends or family members if you don't have any household pain relief at home. Most people have some in their home somewhere, so there's a good chance somebody will be able to give some to you.
Call a medical advice line
Talking to a professional over the phone is a good way to understand your options. They can advise you on what to do and may be able to look up a pharmacy or doctor's surgery that's open in your area. If they think your situation is serious enough for a hospital visit, they will be able to tell you so.
If you're not able to visit a pharmacy in person, but there's one open, you could try giving them a call for advice. If they recommend you get an emergency supply of your medicine, you might be able to ask someone to go and pick it up for you.