Get Ready to Dispense Back-to-School Rxs

Back-to-school time means you can help ensure kids have the right meds, vaccines, and an updated med list for school.

Use your ABCs to help kids and your pharmacy make the grade.

Adjust inventory levels of common back-to-school meds...such as epinephrine devices (EpiPen, etc), rescue inhalers (albuterol, etc), insulin, and ADHD meds (Strattera, etc).

Ensure chronic meds being kept at school have at least a 9-month expiration...so they stay in-date the entire school year.

Be sure Rx directions are complete. Some schools may require the Rx label to state the time of administration...indication...and child's name in the sig.

For example, an Rx label for Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts) may need to say, "Give Jordan one tablet by mouth every day at 2 PM for ADHD."

Don't be surprised to see some OTCs filled as a prescription...some schools require OTCs to have Rx labels.

Call insurance companies if you get early refill or quantity-limit rejects when filling Rxs for home AND school use. Some payers have override codes to allow you to bill these.

Double-check that Rxs are labeled properly. Label EACH container you dispense...so that parents, school nurses, and teachers have directions for giving the medication.

Use auxiliary labels to reinforce proper use. For instance, apply a "Roll gently, do not shake" label to Novolin N Rxs.

Ensure vaccines are current. Ask parents if kids have received vaccines, such as HPV, meningococcal, and Tdap...and offer them if kids haven't and your pharmacy provides them.

Find out if parents need help with updating their child's med lists. Schools may require current info as a new school year begins.

Share our resource, My Medication List, to document med info a child's school may need, including allergies and medical conditions.

Key References

  • ISMP Med Safety Alert! Consum Safe Med 2018;16(4):1-5
  • www.nasn.org/advocacy/professional-practice-documents/position-statements/ps-medication (08-19-19)
  • Am J Health Syst Pharm 2006;63(13):1277-85
Pharmacy Technician's Letter. September 2019, No. 350911



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