How Early Will Walgreens Refill A Prescription? [All You Need to Know]

Walgreens is one of America’s largest drugstore chains with a convenient service that allows customers to fill their prescriptions regularly.

You may sometimes need to have your refill earlier than the schedule, so you may be wondering: how early will Walgreens refill your prescription? Here is what I’ve found through my research!

How Early Will Walgreens Refill A Prescription?

The earliest Walgreens will refill your prescription for Schedule III and IV drugs is 3 days before the due date. Schedule II (controlled) substances require a new prescription for every refill. Ultimately, Walgreens will follow the refill schedule and limits defined by your healthcare provider or insurance company.

So what if you need to refill a lot earlier than 3 days? How should you go about it? What medications can you easily get refilled earlier? Keep on reading to find out!

Why Are You Not Allowed To Get A Refill At Walgreens As Early As You Want?

Pharmacists and insurance providers set a limit on how early you can get a refill to prevent the misuse and abuse of drugs, particularly addictive ones.

For example, some people could exploit this service to get early refills from multiple stores and thus fuel their addiction or trade supplies on the black market.

How Does Your Insurance Plan Affect How Early You Can Get A Refill At Walgreens?

Although Walgreens typically processes refills as early as 3 days ahead of schedule, it is limited by the instructions and limitations set forth by your healthcare or insurance provider.

In most cases, insurance and healthcare providers do not cover refills made earlier than 3 days. Because of this, Walgreens will simply refuse to refill your prescription earlier than this limit.

Therefore, it is best to get in touch with your insurance provider and learn about early refill limits and the process to follow in case you need one.

In What Situations Can You Get Your Prescriptions Refilled Early?

In What Situations Can You Get Your Prescriptions Refilled Early?

You will be permitted (after following the proper process) to get your prescriptions refilled early in the following situations:

  • You are traveling or going on vacation and so need to take extra supplies
  • Your medication was stolen, and you have an authentic police report to show to your insurance provider, doctor, and pharmacist.
  • You need to maintain a stock of medication at home due to an upcoming weather emergency (like a hurricane) that will cut off access to pharmacies.

How Can You Get Your Prescription Refilled Early?

To get your prescription refilled early, you need to plan beforehand and communicate with your pharmacy and insurance provider about the requirements you need to complete.

Your insurance provider might already have exceptions for travel and emergencies, so you won’t have to do much except communicating your situation to Walgreens.

However, for other situations, you may be required to provide an updated prescription from your doctor that specifies (for example) a 60-day instead of a 30-day supply.

How Can You Get An Early Refill For A Controlled Substance?

In case of an emergency that requires you to get an early refill of a controlled substance, you should get in touch with your healthcare provider immediately.

Your healthcare provider will then contact Walgreens (or any other pharmacy) and request them to provide an early refill. You will be required to provide a written and signed prescription to Walgreens for the medication.

Note that you will only be provided medication for the treatment period specified in the prescription, with no option of further refills.

To learn more, you can also see our other posts on how you can get a prescription from Walgreens delivered, if Walgreens accepts GoodRx, how long Walgreens will hold a prescription, and whether or not Walgreens fills pet prescriptions.

Conclusion: How Early Will Walgreens Refill A Prescription?

Walgreens will refill a prescription for Schedule III and IV drugs as early as 3 days, remaining within the limit defined by your healthcare or insurance provider. For controlled substances, you will have to provide a new prescription for every refill.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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