Can You Fill A Controlled Prescription At Midnight The Day It Is Due?

In our latest question and answer, our pharmacist discusses filling a controlled substance prescription at midnight the day it is due to be filled.

Dec 10, 2017

Nicole asked

If I have to wait until tomorrow to fill an opiate based prescription, can I go to my 24 hr pharmacy tonight a bit after midnight and have fill it? My Pharmacy will usually feel it every 28 days and technically at midnight it will be the 28th day.


Yes, in most cases, the prescription will be fillable at midnight the day the prescription is due.

The vast majority (if not all) pharmacy and insurance systems track the date something is filled when considering the next 'fill date'. It would be extremely rare for a system to take into consideration the exact time a prescription is filled and I have never seen that in practice. Computer systems do of course have a time stamp for each workflow step completed in preparing your prescription but, as mentioned, will only record a fill 'date' for the prescription record, not an exact time.

As long as you are going to the pharmacy on the correct date to fill something, there shouldn't be any problems.

It is important to note that if this is not your usual pharmacy, the pharmacist at the 24 hour location may double check your fill history to make sure the prescription is not early. You don't mention in your question whether or not your fills on the 28th day are the exact day you are due, or if it is just the time your pharmacy will allow you to fill it. Again, if midnight marks the exact day you are due, you should be fine to fill the prescription.

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