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How to Avoid Running out of Medications

Mental Health humor Over-Medicated SSRI Sooner or Later Your Refills Run Out

[ 2 bottles 1 in a coffin & the other standing next to him graving]

Bottle of  SSRIs: He was full of LIFE… Three to Four Times a day on an Empty Stomach…

Caption: Sooner or Later Your Refills End…

(Audio for the blind or visually impaired:)

My 9 Favorite Over-Medicated Cartoon | Over-Medicated Cartoon 2| Over-Medicated Cartoon 3| Over-Medicated Cartoon 4| Over-Medicated Cartoon 5| Over-Medicated Cartoon 6| Over-Medicated Cartoon 7| Over-Medicated Cartoon 8| Over-Medicated Cartoon 9

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Help, My Medication Ran Out and I need a Refill!

What can you do if this happens to you?  More importantly, what can you do to make sure you don’t run out of your medications??  Many of us living with mental health disorders, like it or not, have to take medications.  We may try the holistic route, the cognitive therapy route, or the “I could care less” route….Only to find out none of the routes worked!  There are many of us who are slaves to the pill, our sanity, so tied up in it that we will overlook the side-effects in search of peace of mind and/or to maintain a semblance of balance.

There is nothing worse than getting the right combination of medication, only to run out or have no refills left.  When insurance is the issue for not getting a prescription refill, this alone can be quite stressful.  Especially when insurance companies limit or don’t cover the medication you need.  And if you don’t have insurance or you pay out-of-pocket than maintaining compliance comes down to if you can afford the medication. (Quick note: I am not advocating compliance over the recovery model that focuses on people first. I am just talking about what to do to avoid running out of medication).

Meyerson, MD, JD, does consultation services at Johns Hopkins Bay view Medical Center and is a national spokesperson…He says our first line of defense starts with us. “Remind yourself why you’re taking…. medication.”

By being honest with ourselves, we will more likely make sure we always have enough medication on hand.  Meyerson says we need to ask ourselves, ‘Why am I taking this medication to begin with?’”

Dr. Meyerson also suggests to “Keep your… medication in a convenient location. Put it where you’ll see it, such as on the nightstand by your bed.” Although he is quick to say that if you have children this might not be advisable.  Instead the recommendation:  leave notes or set an alarm clock to remind you to take your medication.

Seven Pills and Seven Days!

Another point to remember is the seven pills seven day method.  If  you don’t have any refills on the medication and if you’re down to seven…tells you…you have approximately 7 day until you’re completely out.  This should give you ample time to ask your pharmacist to request a refill, or for you to make an appointment with your doctor to get a prescription.  Do not wait until you’re out of medication, since it can take approximately 7 days or longer before you can get back on meds.

What are some of the methods you have used to avoid running out of medication?


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Chato Stewart is standing with a grim and depressed look on his face. He is at work car parking and wearing a red valet vest smock.  He is standing next to a Sign that reads: [Valet Parking Attendant].  The cartoons Caption reads: "I feel so unvalidated!"

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How to Avoid Running out of Medications

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2016). How to Avoid Running out of Medications. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Apr 2016
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