You should always have enough medication to last until your next appointment. Once we are no longer making changes to a particular medication, 3-5 refills will be offered (up to a six-month supply). You will never be expected to return to clinic just to obtain a refill of a non-controlled* substance; all clinic visits are predicated upon reviewing your progress and overall well-being, and checking for symptoms. 90-day and mail-order prescription orders are also available, upon request.
*Refills of habit-forming medications are typically limited to just enough to last until the next appointment. Under no circumstances will lost or stolen medications with street value be replaced, or refilled early. It is the patient's (or parents') responsibility to safeguard all medications, including and especially those classified as controlled substances and which are known to have significant street (i.e., black market) value. However, it is a good idea to request your medications 5-7 days before you are due to pick them up, to give the pharmacy time to order more if they are out of stock, which is a frequent occurrence with stimulant medications used to treat ADD and certain little-used doses of uncommonly prescribed medications. Some medications will also require Prior Authorization Requests, which can take 1-3 days to process.
For patients taking Schedule II controlled substances (e.g. Ritalin or Adderall), which cannot legally be refilled and which require a new, signed and dated prescription order with each trip to the pharmacy, the required return-to-clinic frequency is initially monthly for approximately 2-3 visits, or until there are no further adjustments to dosage and I am satisfied that the patient is not experiencing significant residual symptoms, untoward side effects, or other difficulties attributable to the direct effects of the medication. Thereafter, individuals seeking refills of these medications who are otherwise doing well are seen at least once a quarter (i.e., every three months), with refills provided as they become necessary, upon request. In no case will return visits for patients taking highly controlled substances be scheduled at greater than quarterly intervals. The maximum amount of time allowable between appointments for all other active patients is six months, although the recommendation for all patients is to return for well-checks, or check-ups, at least quarterly.