One of the many perceived (and possibly very real) problems with purchasing medication through pharmacies on the Internet is the possibility of being sent the wrong medication. This ought to be among the few genuinely worrying possibilities inherent with purchasing through pharmacies on the Internet, which are not subject to the same regulatory conditions and laws that a flesh-and-blood pharmacy would be. In a situation where it is impossible to actually see the product, to be able to physically handle it and read the labels, it is often very important that a customer check the medication as soon as it lands on their doorstep. Here are some ways to help in making sure a consumer gets the right medications when ordering online.
The first thing to do is to make sure that any medications ordered from pharmacies on the Internet are domestic.This includes both the medications themselves and the pharmacies that you buy from. Pharmacies based outside the US can sometimes carry drugs that are not approved for use within the US, which means those medications might be harmful or don’t have the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. In cases where restricted or banned medication is sent into US borders, customs officials usually prevent it from being delivered, or even making it past the port of entry. Purchasing from a US-based online pharmacy can help because most of them abide by US laws, so they only sell drugs that have been approved for use in the US by the FDA.
Another thing to do, once the drug arrives, is to inspect it visually. This can be much easier if you have been prescribed the drug before and have an idea of how it looks and what’s written on the label. Pharmaceutical companies will only rarely change the physical appearance of their medication, to better preserve the image that their customers have of the brand. Even generic drugs do not have their appearances changed arbitrarily, so checking if the color, shape, and labels are the same can help in determining whether or not one has been sent counterfeit medication. This same rule applies to the packaging and the labels that come with the order. Clearly, if the brand or generic name are different from previous prescriptions, then something is wrong.
Some customers also choose to counter check their order with online medical databases. There are a number of them that contain enough information for customers to be able to tell if what they have been sent is genuine or not. The information on such sites can include the doses the drugs come in, whether or not they are tablets or pills, and any generic and brand-named variations of the drug. They can also provide information that may be useful in other situations, such as side effects and warnings on what not to do or take while using a drug. In general, the more a customer knows about the medication they have ordered, the better they will be at identifying whether or not they have the genuine article.
As a last resort, it is best for people to know their medication on a sensory level. Aside from knowing the appearance, it is sometimes a good idea to know what they taste or smell. While most medications don’t have any distinctive smell, a good number of them can cause reactions from the tongue. In the event that the medication received does not cause the same reaction as previous doses, it would be best to consult a pharmacist to see if any changes to the chemical composition were made.
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