When you’re sick, sometimes not getting a prescription may be frustrating. We talked to Dr. Mia Finkelston, who treats patients using LiveHealth Online about common misconceptions around prescriptions and how she talks to patients who may want to know why an illness doesn’t warrant a prescription.
“Whether I see a patient in a brick and mortar office or on LiveHealth Online, I want them to understand what is going on with regard to their concern and why I am recommending a certain treatment as well as be aware of signs that it may be getting worse, which takes education,” Dr. Finkelston says.
Dr. Finkelston finds telemedicine to be beneficial for educating patients often even more beneficial than when you’re seeing them in person. “I can take a bit more time to focus on the one thing in front of me as opposed to in a doctor’s office, where I was also updating other information most times with the patient in front of me.”
She shared with us some things people often don’t realize about prescriptions:
- Many over the counter medications used to be prescription medications. Some medicates were released to over-the-counter status because they were felt to be relatively safe when taken as described on the labels.
- Just because a medication is a prescription does not mean it is better. “Unfortunately, people believe this to be the case since newer meds are glamorous especially if they are advertised on TV and promoted by celebrities,” Dr. Finkelston says. “But they are often expensive or not covered by insurance, which may frustrate patients when they are waiting at the pharmacy. New doesn’t always mean they may not be any better than the older, tried and true ones.”
- Not all illnesses warrant a prescription. Not all illnesses are bacterial in fact most of the time, an illness is caused by viruses and there is no treatment or cure for them. As you may have heard in the past, bacterial illnesses are what respond to antibiotics.
- You can get a prescription through LiveHealth Online, if needed. Yes, you can receive a prescription after a visit using LiveHealth Online, if prescribed by the doctor based on diagnosis. Using LiveHealth Online and other telemedicine services is a similar process as a regular doctor’s office. “The expectation to get a prescription when you see a doctor is not something you should have with every telemedicine visit or interaction,” Dr. Finkelston says. “And don’t forget, the same is true with a visit to your doctor’s office in person.”
Comments and opinions from Dr. Mia Finkelston are hers alone. This is content from an interview and is not considered medical treatment.
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