Patient Medication Tips
This page is devoted to providing information to our customers, patients of Eisenhower Army Medical Center, and to any of you out there looking for information regarding prescription medications. .
Eisenhower Army Medical Center Dispensing Policy
1. HOSPITAL FORMULARY. The Outpatient Pharmacy will fill prescriptions for all eligible beneficiaries, provided that the medication prescribed is on the Hospital Formulary. The formulary is a list of safe and effective drugs reviewed and approved by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee, a committee of practicing physicians and pharmacists. Medications selected ensure that the safest and most effective (both for quality and cost) drug therapy is used. In some cases, a medication may be restricted to prescribing by certain medical specialties, for patients with a specific diagnosis, or in accordance with a specific protocol. These restrictions are specified in this Hospital Formulary.
2. PRESCRIPTION DISPENSING GUIDELINES. All prescriptions will be written to comply with the dispensing limitations listed below. Any prescriptions not conforming will be adjusted accordingly. Exception to these limitations will be considered on an individual basis.
a. Eligibility. All eligible Department of Defense beneficiaries are eligible to fill prescriptions provided the medication is carried on the DDEAMC formulary.
b. Written Prescriptions. Valid for one year from date written. Prescriptions for controlled substances are only valid for 6 months from original date written. All prescriptions must contain the provider’s signature in ink (stamped or computer-generated signatures will not be accepted). In addition, the DDEAMC pharmacy cannot accept faxed or phoned-in prescriptions. DoD and TRICARE rules require that we dispense generic equivalents when available. We may not be able to consistently fill prescriptions that call for "BRAND MEDICALLY NECESSARY" or "DISPENSE AS WRITTEN"
c. Filled Prescriptions. Non-controlled substances are valid for 1 year after the date they are originally written, regardless if any refills are remaining. Controlled substance prescriptions are valid for only 6 months.
d. Refills. All refills must be processed through our phone-in refill system or requested online via the DDEAMC website or Tricare Online. They will be ready for pick-up after noon on the day designated at the PX Refill Pharmacy or can picked up at the Script Center machine located in the pharmacy lobby.
e. Quantity Limits.
- Maximum days supply-
- 90 days and up to 3 refills
- Controlled substances-
- C-II up to 30 days and no refills (up to 90 days for ADHD medications)
- C-III-V up to 30 days and up to 5 refills
Policies listed on this page reflect those of the DDEAMC Pharmacy, the Department of the Army, and the Department of Defense.
HIPPA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - Effective 14 April 2003 - In order to pick up medications for someone other than yourself, the patient's ID card or a photocopy of the ID card (front and back) must be presented at the time of pickup.
Mandatory Prescription Refill Call-In: All prescription must be requested in advance via the phone-in system or online. Refills may be called in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The system will tell you when your prescriptions will be ready for pickup..
Refill your prescriptions at 706-787-1710 or online by clicking here.
Non-Compliance: New prescriptions are filled at the time the patient presents to the window Refill prescriptions are held on the shelves for ten working days. If your prescription is not picked up within the allotted time it will be returned to stock and marked as non-compliant in our system.
ID Cards: Dependent children ten years of age and above are required to have an ID card. Parents do not need an authorization to pick up medications for minor children, but will need to present the child’s ID card (or a copy) if ten years or older.
Ask your pharmacist to explain the directions for use if you do not understand them. That way, you will be sure of exactly how to take your medicine. The directions on the label serve as a reminder of the more complete set of instructions your physician, other prescriber, or pharmacist gave you face-to-face.
The following list of common instructions and their meaning are provided:
Take on an empty stomach.
Food and some beverages in your stomach may interfere with the absorption of certain medications, or slow the time it takes them to begin working. To avoid these pitfalls, when indicated, take the medication either one hour before, or two hours after, eating or drinking. You should take all medications with a full glass of water.
Take one dose four times daily.
Over a 24-hour period, this medication should be taken four times, with about six hours between each dose. Spacing the four doses over the entire day will ensure a constant level of medication in your body. Most medications with this direction will work fine if taken four times during the time you are awake (for example, at breakfast, lunch, supper, and bedtime). Ask your pharmacist which is the right for your medication. Remember to make arrangements for your children to receive their medications at the proper times while at school or daycare.
Keep in refrigerator.
Medications requiring storage in the refrigerator should be generally kept at a temperature between 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain their potency. Refrigerate only medications that have this instruction. Refrigerating other medications could cause them to lose their effectiveness because of low temperature and high humidity. Medication should not be kept in the freezer unless directions specifically state so.
Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight.
This means you, not the medication. Certain medications, such as “sulfa” drugs and tetracyclines, may make you more sensitive to sunlight and tanning lamps; causing you to burn more easily. You should limit exposure to the sun when you are taking these medications. If your skin does become more sensitive, use a sunscreen (SPF 15 or more), avoid spending a long time in the sun, and wear protective clothing.
May cause discoloration of urine or feces.
Some medication may change the color of your urine or stools. This effect is not harmful and will stop when the medication is discontinued. If you are unsure, ask your pharmacist what to expect. Otherwise, any unexpected change should be reported to your doctor.
If you wear soft contact lenses, do not wear them during treatment with this type of medication. The medication may discolor your tears, which could permanently stain the contact lenses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how long to wait after discontinuing the medication before wearing your lenses again.
The active ingredient in many liquid medications is in the form of a fine powder, which can settle to the bottom of the bottle. To be sure you receive the correct amount of active ingredient, shake the bottle vigorously for 15-30 seconds every time you take the medication.
Watch the expiration date.
Most medications become ineffective, rather than harmful over time. Some drugs, such as alcohol based cough medicine, can become more potent as they evaporate. A few, such as tetracycline, are dangerous after the expiration date.
Expiration dates, however, apply only to medicine that has been stored under good conditions. If you store medications in areas of high heat or humidity, you can no longer rely on the labeled expiration dates. Most prescription drug labels contain expiration date. Do not save medications past the intended prescribed therapy.
General Rule: Throw away any prescription medicine that has not been used in six months.
Finding expired nonprescription medications is common in most households because many (such as anti-diarrhea medicines, cold tablets, antibiotic ointments, sunscreens, and aspirin) are not routinely or regularly used. It is best to buy these in small quantities and discard them when they expire. Get rid of any solid medications that have a foul order, have cracked coatings, or have changed color.
The bathroom medicine cabinet ironically, is the worst place to store medicine. The room’s moisture and heat speed up the chemical breakdown of drugs. Also, drugs should never be stored in a car’s glove compartment, because it can reach a very high temperature.
Storing drugs in the refrigerator is no better, because it is too moist for some drugs. Some easily spoiled liquid drugs do require refrigeration, but these are always labeled to be kept in the refrigerator.
Light and air also affect drugs, but dark-tinted bottles and airtight caps keep these to a minimum. Always keep your medicine in the original container with the cap tightly closed.
A closet is your best bet. Pick a high shelf out of the reach of children, and be sure to use child-resistant caps if you have children, grandchildren, or other children who visit.
Because we use a hospital computer system (CHCS) for all of our prescriptions, we are able to identify patients who may have taken a medication that may have been recalled from the manufacturer. We will identify all patients taking the medication and their physicians. With your permission, we will notify your provider, either by mail or phone.
2. Never take a medication out of its original container to store it.
3. Highlight the patient’s name with a highlighter so it can be easily seen. Use a different color highlighter for each member of the family.
4. If you have stopped taking a medicine but have some left, you likely do not need to save it. Many medications should be taken until they are all gone, unless they are taken as needed, and having leftovers could indicate the medication was not taken properly.
5. Keep a permanent list of all medication taken by each family member, along with their medical problems and any allergies as part of your family’s health history.
REMEMBER TO COMMUNICATE TO STAY HEALTHY - TALK WITH YOUR PHARMACIST. THE MORE YOU KNOW, THE BETTER YOU WILL FEEL.