Urgent care is medical care that is delivered in the case of emergencies. Urgent care centers are facilities that also allow you to access treatment if your primary caregiver is unavailable. But can urgent care prescribe antidepressants?
Antiepressants are psychiatric medicines that help people manage depression. Usually, doctors or mental health workers prescribe these drugs after diagnosing a patient. Does urgent care make an exception for this? That’s what we will discuss in this article.
Does Urgent Care Prescribe Medication?
While it is not the main function of urgent care to medicate patients, they do so occasionally. However, urgent care doctors can’t monitor patients for extended periods. This means that they can only prescribe drugs that fulfill the needs of a short-term diagnosis.
Drugs Often Prescribed by Urgent Care
There are certain types of medication that urgent care doctors prescribe.
- One such medication is known as maintenance medication. Maintenance medications help people maintain certain physical health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Maintenance medications generally come in smaller doses.
- Urgent care clinics can provide antibiotics to help fight off various infections.
- You may receive a prescription of eye drops for eye infections.
- Urgent care facilities can prescribe medication to ease symptoms of gastric distress.
- You may receive prescriptions of non-narcotic painkillers to fight inflammation.
It’s important to note that urgent care facilities tend to prescribe these medications as a last resort. Furthermore, they will not issue long-term prescriptions or refill prescriptions.
Can Urgent Care Prescribe Antidepressants?
Urgent care facilities only prescribe drugs for short-term use. Anything that requires a long-term diagnosis will not be treated at these facilities.
Depression is such a condition. To receive a diagnosis for depression you will often have to communicate with your primary caregiver for a while. They will ask you questions or have you fill out forms to see if you meet the criteria for depression.
Urgent care facilities cannot offer either of these services. As such, they cannot prescribe antidepressants. They are also unable to refill prescriptions of antidepressants even if your doctor has already issued them.
Antidepressant prescriptions require that you check in regularly with your doctor. Compared to anti-inflammatories or antibiotics, antidepressants are less predictable. They may also cause a greater risk of side effects.
These factors mean that it would be unsafe for urgent care clinics to prescribe antidepressants on a whim. If you think that you’re struggling with depression, then you should get in touch with a doctor or psychiatrist.
If you have run out of medication and are unable to see your doctor, urgent care facilities may be able to connect you with a physician who can look at your records and issue a refill.
While urgent care clinics might not prescribe you antidepressants, you can certainly find a doctor or psychiatrist who will take the time to do this.
If you’re an older citizen then you might want to consider our article on the use of antidepressants among seniors. If it’s your first time using antidepressants you’ll probably want to learn about first line antidepressants.