Surprisingly, not much changes in the process of filling a prescription via telemedicine.
When it comes to psoriatic arthritis, people who stick to their treatment regimen tend to have better outcomes. That may translate to fewer flares, less severe symptoms, and less joint damage over time. That’s why it’s helpful to know exactly how to take your prescribed treatments — and how to fill your medications.
“Running out of your psoriatic arthritis medications increases the chances of your disease flaring up [with] pain, decreased mobility, [and] irreversible joint damage,” says Saakshi Khattri, MD, Rheumatologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “So it's always good to have your medicines on you.”
How do you get your PsA medications through telemedicine?
You can get your medicine through a telemedicine visit in many cases. “If you're doing a visit via telemedicine, it doesn't mean that we, as providers, cannot prescribe you medication,” says Dr. Khattri. “There's no reason for patients to worry that just because it's a telemedicine visit, that they will not get their medications.”
Just like for an in-person visit, your doctor sends the prescription electronically to your pharmacy of choice. Then, you can go pick it up like usual. Your healthcare provider can also send the prescription to a mail-order pharmacy if that works better for you.
What are the benefits of getting your PsA prescriptions via telemedicine?
Telemedicine visits are also a great time to discuss whether or not a medication is working. In fact, doctors often need to be able to have seen you in order to write a refill, and a telemedicine appointment could be your ticket to receiving your medication faster than if you had to wait until you could get an in-office appointment.
In some cases, you might also have trouble getting to the doctor for an in-person visit. “If a patient, for some reason, is flaring or if they feel that their medicine is not working for them, telemedicine can still be an effective approach to seeing a provider because we can make changes to their medications based on a telemedicine visit,” says Dr. Khattri.
Whether you prefer a virtual or in-person visit, sticking to your medications may help you take control over your psoriatic arthritis. If you can achieve and maintain in remission, you may slow down the progression of PsA and reduce any permanent joint damage. Ultimately, that may result in a more positive quality of life.
Saakshi Khattri, MD, is a rheumatologist and assistant professor at the Department of Rheumatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
- Souza, A. G., et al. (2021). Medication adherence and persistence of psoriatic arthritis patients treated with biological therapy in a specialty pharmacy in Brazil: a prospective observational study. Pharmacy Practice.
- Dunkin, M. Need to see your doctor? Try telemedicine. Arthritis Foundation.
- Medlineplus.gov. (2021) Getting a prescription filled.
- National Psoriasis Foundation. (2021). COVID-19 Task Force guidance statements.
- Orenstein, B. (2020) Your doctor will see you now: Where is telemedicine headed? National Psoriasis Foundation.