Since the e-commerce boom in the early 2000s, people all over the world have been enjoying the benefits of online shopping. In particular, the convenience and cost savings are practically unparalleled. What’s more, the variety of products available continues to increase. From clothes and cosmetics to fresh produce and home essentials, you can now buy anything and everything online.
More recently, pharmacies and drugstores have also joined the e-commerce revolution. This has made medicines, supplements, and similar products more accessible — especially to the elderly and the differently-abled. That said, the process can be a bit of a different experience for those who are unused to it. Here are some tips to stay safe when buying medicines online:
- Buy Only from Reputable Drugstores
If you’re going to buy medicines and vitamin supplements online, make sure you’re transacting with a reputable online drugstore or pharmacy only. Remember: you’re going to ingest those medicines and supplements, so you have to be sure of their quality and safety. When you purchase from trustworthy retailers, you can be sure that you’re getting authentic, high-quality products.Fortunately, many trusted drugstores and pharmacies have online counterparts. There are also reputable online shopping platforms that offer a wide variety of over-the-counter medicines and food supplements. If you want quality assurance, then these shops are the way to go.Last but certainly not least, buying from well-known and established online drugstores also comes with the guarantee that your banking details will remain safe.
- Consult Your Doctor Before you purchase any type of medication, online or otherwise, make sure to consult your doctor first. Even if you’ve been taking a certain medicine for a long time, it’s still best to confirm if you should continue. For example, there’s a chance that your situation has changed and you now require a different dosage. By checking with your doctor first, you can stay safe and healthy; your wallet will also thank you if you don’t end up buying the wrong medicine and/or dosage.It’s also important to consult your doctor if you’re planning to buy vitamins and supplements. Some may react unfavorably with your prescription medications. While there won’t be any side effects most of the time, it’s still best to be sure that you know what to do just in case there are unpleasant results.
- Always Have Your Prescription
You can buy prescription medications online, but you have to have a valid prescription from your doctor. Make sure that you have the most recent one as well since pharmacists will check if you’ve completed your dosage for a specific time period.Usually, you’ll be asked for a photo or scanned copy of the prescription form for proof. However, keep in mind that different online drugstores or pharmacies may have different rules so be prepared to comply.If the seller allows you to purchase prescription medications without a prescription, be on the alert. Don’t proceed with the transaction and look for another provider. If you can, report the store to the proper authorities.
- Check the Price
One of the things that make online shopping so popular is the lower cost of products. However, when it comes to medicines, don’t immediately settle for the most affordable ones. If the prices are too good to be true, they probably are.It’s best to find out the suggested retail price or SRP of these medicines, so you know if anything is overpriced or alarmingly cheap. Knowing the SRP of medicines and supplements can also help you find better deals online.
- Don’t Fall for False Claims For vitamins and health supplements, in particular, be on the lookout for promises like being a “miracle cure” for a dreaded disease. Most likely, claims like these are false; you may not get the results you’re looking for or, worse, experience adverse effects.You should also keep in mind the meaning of the statement “no approved therapeutic claims” on food supplements. This indicates that the product is not harmful and may provide benefits, but it hasn’t been proven to be able to cure or effectively manage health conditions.If you truly want to take vitamins and health supplements, the best thing to do is to consult your doctor. They have a better idea of your medical history and can thus make suitable recommendations for you.
- Don’t Self-Medicate Lastly and perhaps most importantly, before you buy any kind of medicine online, make sure you aren’t self-medicating. Some over-the-counter drugs like painkillers or antihistamines are usually safe enough to take, but some of them can cause unpleasant side effects. To be absolutely sure, consult your doctor first.
There’s no denying that online shopping has made purchasing medicines so much faster and more affordable. However, don’t sacrifice your safety for your convenience and a bit of savings. Stay safe by following the above-mentioned tips.
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