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Pharmacist FAQs

Explore our frequently asked questions.
Q:What is my medicine used for?
A:Each medicine you take can be used for different medical conditions. To find out what your specific medicine is used for, visit our Drug Reference and Interactions database. Type the name of the drug in the “Drug Name or Condition Search” field to view information about it.
Q:What should my health care professional know before I take my medicine?
A:Depending on your specific situation, certain medicines may not be right for you. To find out what medical conditions or medicines may potentially cause problems with a new prescription; visit our Drug Reference and Interactions database. Enter the name of the drug in the search field to get information about it and any possible interactions. You should also make sure that your doctor is aware of any medicines you are currently taking and other health conditions and health history.
Q:How should I take my medicine(s)?
A:You should take your medicine(s) as your doctor prescribes. If you need more information about taking your medicine, visit our Drug Reference and Interactions database. Type the name of your medicine in the “Drug Name or Condition Search” field to get information about your medicine.
Q:What if I miss a dose of my medicine?
A:To read about what to do if you miss a dose of your medicine, visit our Drug Reference and Interactions database. Type the name of your medicine in the search field and click on the name of your medicine to get to the information page. Scroll down to “What if I miss a dose?” for more information.
Q:What other prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines or foods may interact with my prescription?
A:To find out about possible drug interactions, visit our Drug Reference and Interactions database. Click on the Drug Interactions link to search for your medicine and any possible interactions.
Q:What type of side effects may I experience?
A:Each medicine(s) may affect each person differently. To find out what side effects may occur, visit our Drug Reference and Interactions database and type the name of your medicine in the search field. Once you reach the information page, you can select Side Effects under “Would You Like to Know More?”
Q:What do I need to watch for while I am taking my medicine?
A:To find out if your medicine has specific “warning signs” that you or your doctor should be aware of, visit our Drug Reference and Interactions database. Type the name of your medicine in the search field and click on the name of your medicine to get to the drug detail page. Scroll down to “What do I need to watch for while taking this medicine?”
Q:Where should I store my medicine?
A:Some medicines have specific storage requirements. To find out where your medicine should be stored, visit our Drug Reference and Interactions database and type the name of your medicine in the search field. Scroll down to “Where can I keep my medicine?” to get more information.
Q:My medicine looks different than it did before. Why is that?
A:Your medicine may look different because a different manufacturer may have produced it. Before taking any medicine that looks different, contact your doctor or Customer Care.
Q:Is my medicine a generic?
A:Based on your prescription benefit plan, a specific brand-name or generic medicine may be dispensed. You can find out whether your prescription has been filled with a generic medicine by contacting Customer Care or your local pharmacy (for retail prescriptions).
Q:What is the difference between brand-name and generic medicines?
A:The original developer of the medicine generally manufactures the brand-name product. A manufacturer that did not originally produce the medicine generally produces a generic version. All the active ingredients in both versions are the same and generics are just as safe and effective as brand-name medicines. The primary difference is cost. Because the generic manufacturers do not have the cost of developing the brand-name medicine, they can produce it for less. Generic medicines must meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines before they can be sold. CVS Caremark also has an approval process to evaluate manufacturers. All manufacturers must meet our standards for their products to be purchased for dispensing by CVS Caremark.
Q:How long does it take to receive a prescription through the mail?
A:You can expect to receive your prescription within 7 to 10 days after we receive your order.
Q:What is my copay?
A:A copayment or copay is the amount that you are responsible for when getting a prescription filled. After you pay the copay, your plan will cover the rest of the cost, if any. The amount is determined by your plan sponsor’s pharmacy benefit. To determine your specific copay, check Drug Cost and Coverage. You may also call toll-free Customer Care at 1-800-552-8159.
Q:Is my medicine covered under my insurance plan?
A:To find out if your medicine is covered, check Drug Cost and Coverage. Fill in the requested information about the medicine and dosage and you’ll receive a message telling you whether or not your medicine is covered and what your copay amount will be. You’ll also find out if there is a generic or a preferred medicine available that can help save you money.
Q:How do I order a refill for my long-term medication?
A:CVS Caremark offers several convenient ways to place a refill order:
1. You can place a request online by clicking on Prescription Refill

2. If you’d like the convenience of having your maintenance medications sent to your home or location of your choice, download a CVS/caremark Mail Service Pharmacy order form. Then attach your refill label(s) to the form and mail it along with your enclosed check or money order for the appropriate copay. To pay by credit card, simply write your credit card number and expiration date on the form. (Visit Check Drug Coverage and Cost to find out your copay amount.)

3. If you’d like us to request a new prescription from your doctor so that you can use our mail service, visit Request a New Prescription.

4. You may call our automated voice response system toll-free at 1-800-213-0879, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and follow the prompts.
Q:How do I order a new mail service prescription?
A:When your doctor prescribes a new long-term medicine for you, ask for two prescriptions:

1. One for a 30-day supply that you can have filled right away at a retail pharmacy.

2. One for up to a 90-day supply (plus up to three refills, when appropriate) to send with your mail service order form.

There are three ways you can send us your 90-day prescription:

1. Use the CVS/caremark mobile app to take and submit a photo of your prescription. (For eligible prescriptions only.)

2. Download a CVS/caremark mail service order form, complete and mail the form along with your 90-day prescription and the appropriate payment to the address shown on the form. (Visit Check Drug Coverage and Cost to find out your copay amount.)

3. Ask your doctor to call us toll-free at 1-800-378-5697.
Q:How do I find out the status of my mail service prescription order?
A:You can check the status of your order online. You can also check by calling toll-free at 1-800-213-0879 (you’ll need the member ID number from your prescription benefit card, and either the prescription number or order confirmation number). Either service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Q:Can I get my prescriptions filled at my local pharmacy?
A:Our comprehensive National Network currently consists of nearly 68,000 pharmacies, consisting of approximately 41,000 chain pharmacies and 27,000 independent pharmacies, in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands. If you need to have your prescription filled at a pharmacy that isn’t in our network, you can submit a paper claim for consideration. Once there, follow the instructions on how to submit a paper claim.If your prescription is for a long-term medicine (a medicine that you take on a long-term basis), and your plan includes the mail service pharmacy benefit, it will be less costly for you to use our mail service pharmacy for filling your prescription rather than your local retail pharmacy. To find out what benefits your plan includes, visit Understand My Plan and Benefits.
Q:How do I contact someone in Customer Care for help?
A:Visit the Contact CVS Caremark page. You’ll see three ways to contact Customer Care: by e-mail, by mail and by phone.
Q:How do I get a mail service order form?
A:To print a mail service order form, Start Mail Service. You’ll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software to download the form.
Q:What medicines are covered under my preferred drug list?
A:A preferred list of medicines covered by your plan can be obtained by visiting the Drug Formulary page. Remember, using a medicine on the preferred list generally saves you money, so be sure to ask your doctor to consider medicines on the preferred list.
Q:Why did I receive a different prescription medication than my doctor originally prescribed?
A:Depending on the features of your plan sponsor’s pharmacy benefit plan, CVS Caremark may contact your doctor, after receiving your prescription, to request consideration of either a brand-name medicine from our preferred list or a generic version of your medicine. This may change the original prescription you received from your doctor and generally save you money.
Q:Are there refills left on my mail service prescription?
A:You can find the number of refills on your prescription label. You can also check your Prescription List. The Show Details section under each prescription will show how many refills are left. If no refills remain, please contact your doctor to get a new prescription.
Our goal is to help you manage your drug costs and easily order prescriptions. Join our email list to receive more information on what we can offer on
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