Urgent care clinics are designed to address a wide range of illnesses, injuries, and other various maladies. Consequently, they often have on staff many physicians with a broad range of knowledge who are able to both diagnose afflictions and immediately prescribe treatment.
Many walk in clinics have their own pharmacy on-site or nearby so that medication for a serious injury or illness can be obtained as quickly as possible for a speedy recovery. However, there are limits to what kinds of medicine an urgent care facility will readily prescribe or have on hand for patients. It's important to understand these distinctions to save yourself time and any misunderstandings.
Here's a list of prescription situations most urgent care facilities are happy to accommodate:
- Antibiotics, to reduce risk of infection for common ailments. In 2012, the most frequent diagnoses in urgent care settings were upper respiratory conditions, and the most frequent procedure involved wound repair. Both of these situations commonly necessitate antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
- Antivirals, to reduce contagiousness of things like the flu. Early detection is the best method for successful antiviral treatment.
- Short-term medication, for patients experiencing stomach issues or back pain, for instance. While lower back pain is extraordinarily common -- at least 69% of Americans say it affects their daily lives -- concerns about chronic conditions or pain management should be addressed by your primary care physician. There are also a number of prescription requests that urgent care centers won't likely fulfill, including:
- Prescription refills and Long-term pain medication. If your primary care doctor has prescribed you with long-term management, you need to see that same doctor to have your prescriptions refilled. If you don't have a primary care doctor, an urgent care facility can often assist you in obtaining routine care.
- Narcotics and Anti-anxiety medication require close monitoring and consultation with patients who use them, and so they are not typically prescribed by urgent care doctors. Again, speak with your regular doctor or a psychiatrist about long-term care.
With 85% of all urgent care centers open seven days a week, they can be extremely convenient for checking in with a doctor about sudden symptoms. Long-term care and management for chronic conditions, however, are still best left to your primary care physician.
If you're unsure about what kind of care you need or don't have a long-term health plan, an urgent care clinic will be ready to provide for you, no matter what.
All of our urgent care clinics are open 8am - 8pm, 7-days a week including all holidays to serve your medical needs. Walk-in or book an appointment today!
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