Filling two types of pain medications from two different doctors may be allowed depending on the circumstances and the specific medications.
There are a lot of different scenarios in which this may or may not be allowed and it would be impossible to go over all of them without knowing the specific circumstances. Nevertheless, I will discuss a few common situations below.
Pain Medications For Different Conditions
This is generally allowed if:
- Medications do not interact and can safely be taken together.
- The doctors writing the prescriptions would normally prescribe the medications in their normal scope of practice (e.g. receiving a migraine medication from your neurologist and an acute pain medication from the emergency room for a broken arm).
It may raise some red flags if:
- Medications are considered to be duplicate therapy (e.g. two opioid medications).
- The doctors are from multiple states or are both from urgent care/emergency rooms.
- One of the medications is prescribed out of the scope of practice (e.g. receiving a chronic pain medication from your allergy doctor).
Pain Medications Used In Combination Together
One example of this is taking both an extended release formulation and an immediate release formulation of a drug for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain respectively. Another example would be a mild potency pain medication for general pain and a stronger pain medication for more severe pain.
This is generally acceptable if:
- The medications are prescribed in the normal scope of practice.
- The medications are prescribed from the same physician or office.
This may raise some red flags if:.
- The medications are not prescribed in the normal scope of practice (e.g. an emergency room doctor would not under most circumstances give someone scripts for chronic pain treatment).
- The medications are from two different doctors.
Every situation is looked at on an individual basis and is unique. Your pharmacist may ask for more information on scripts or ask to verify information with your prescriber.
It is the duty of both the doctor and the pharmacist to do their due diligence in making sure all prescriptions are issued for a legitimate medical purpose and are safe to be taken with other medications you may be on.