Can You Fill Your Adderall Prescription In Another State?

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can you fill your adderall prescription in another state

If you have out-of-state travel in the future, you may be asking: “can you fill your Adderall prescription out of state?” The answer: It depends.

While the federally-mandated expiration date for Schedule II prescriptions (such as Adderall) is 6 months, state laws may require doctors to see their patients every 30 to 90 days before renewing a prescription. When possible, it’s best to check with the out-of-state pharmacy before leaving.

There are many reasons why you may need to know how to fill your Adderall out of state. You may be going on vacation during a time that conflicts with your scheduled refill, or you may be sent to a different state temporarily for your job. College students in particular may run into issues if they are attending school out-of-state and their prescribing doctor is in their hometown.

A Virginia-based doctor, who treats college students regularly, tells Quora that he typically doesn’t have any issues except for his students in New York, which requires prescriptions that are less than 90 days old.

“The DEA number that I have is a federal number, and thus far my prescriptions have always been valid out of state as long as they are within that state’s time period. In Virginia , schedule II prescription have to be less than six months old,” said Michael Shrewsberry, owner of C Lee Ginsburgh MD.

Because filling Adderall already is complicated without the added wrench of crossing state lines, it’s critical to get this sorted before leaving. Between federal and state laws, insurance issues and pharmacy policy, there are many opportunities for there to be a snag. It’s better to know the lay of the land now and not when you’re trying to get your medicine filled at the last minute.

Here’s a look at the many ways an out-of-state prescription can get complicated.

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Federal & State Laws

When it comes to Schedule II medications such as Adderall, there is a complex system of federal and state laws that govern how it is prescribed and filled. There will be cases where the state laws may be stricter; in this case both federal and state laws must be complied with. Here are some of the considerations of these laws.

Controlled Substances Act (CSA)

Signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, the CSA is the federal law governing certain types of drugs “that are deemed to pose a risk of abuse and dependence”. These controlled substances are classified in categories of Schedule I through V – Adderall is a Schedule II drug.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is the governing body mostly responsible for enforcing the CSA. Although doctors are licensed at the state level, when they are prescribing controlled substances, they use a federal ID number provided by the DEA.

The CSA prohibits the refill of prescription II drugs. Instead, your doctor must write multiple prescriptions and note the earliest allowable fill date. Depending on your doctor, these prescriptions may be provided to you in hard copy or sent directly to the pharmacy electronically. If you receive hard copies from your doctor, it is critical that you take these with you when travelling out of state and store them in a safe location where they cannot be lost or stolen.

Since most pharmacies accept e-prescriptions at this time, it may be tempting to assume you won’t have to worry about storing hard-copy prescriptions. However, just because e-prescriptions are now a widely adopted format, your doctor’s office may not be set up yet to have this option for you. 

State Laws for Schedule II Prescriptions

While the CSA provides a framework for controlled substance regulation, there also are prescription laws at the state level. State laws need to be at least as strict as the CSA, but are allowed to be stricter.

Some of the areas that state prescription laws may address include limits regarding refills, quantities, how long you have to fill the prescription after it’s written, and more. For example, in Texas you can’t fill an Adderall prescription that’s more than 21 days old. Some states – including Pennsylvania, New York and California – have a separate scheduling (or classification) system apart from the CSA.
Other Considerations

If the federal and state laws weren’t confusing enough, your insurance company and the pharmacy that’s filling your prescription will also have their own web of rules and regulations. This is another reason it’s critical to get this sorted before travelling. Be sure to look into this in ample time before your trip so that any needed extra steps will have time to take place. 

Early Filling Hurdles

You may be faced with needing to ask your pharmacy if you can fill your prescription early, which typically isn’t allowed. If this isn’t permitted, you and your doctor will need to come up with a contingency plan. If you do plan on asking your pharmacy to fill your prescription early, be sure to have a doctor’s note explaining the reason.

Administrative Snags

If an insurance approval or a doctor refill request is needed, it could take at least a couple of business days longer to get your medicine. Or, if the cost of your medicine isn’t what you expected – either at your local or out-of-state pharmacy – it may take some time to clear that up. 

Stocking Issues

Not waiting until the weekend to fill an important prescription is a good idea for several reasons. Aside from the doctor’s office being closed if there’s a snag, it’s common for pharmacies to run out of stock during this time.

Red Apple Pharmacy offers this additional bit of advice:

“Do not wait till Friday, Saturday or Sunday before filling your narcotic prescription. Except, of course, you are coming from the emergency room or urgent care clinic. By this time, the stock is only enough to fill emergency prescriptions.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Walgreens Fill An Out Of State Prescription?

While the only way to truly know is to call yourself, a Walgreens pharmacy tells Quora that it depends on the state laws. He added that in other states such as North Carolina and South Carolina, the pharmacy will fill the prescription, but will call the doctor’s office first.

“Texas, California, New York, and a few others will not fill an out of state prescription if it’s for a controlled substance,” said Brandon Ownbey, Shift Supervisor at Walgreens Pharmacy. “I know some states will have a list of pharmacies that have applied for the license to fill out-of-state controlled drugs (Texas for example), but you usually have to call the board of pharmacy to get that list because it’s hard to find online.”

Will CVS Fill An Out Of State Prescription?

Definitely still call ahead, but a February 2011 post on Facebook suggests that the answer’s yes. It states: “Where will your next vacation take you? You can refill your prescriptions at any of our CVS locations nationwide. With 24-hr stores, drive-thru locations, MinuteClinics, and online Rx management, CVS makes it convenient and easy for you to get what you need.”

Can Controlled Substances Be Electronically Prescribed Across State Lines?

This is another one that depends on the state. In Oregon, for example, “In order to prescribe electronically, both the prescriber and the pharmacy must have software that has been authenticated by the Drug Enforcement Administration,” according to the Telehealth Alliance of Oregon.

Can Doctors Call In Prescriptions Across State Lines?

According to Prescription Hope, a prescription savings site, “You can get a prescription filled in a state different to the one in which it was originally written. However, controlled substance prescriptions have more stringent laws in certain states.”

Can Online Doctors Prescribe Adderall? 

This is not the case. According to the online prescription site Plushcare, “Adderall is classified as a controlled substance and therefore cannot be prescribed online. It is illegal for anyone to prescribe or sell Adderall online.”

Can A Pharmacy Red Flag You?

Pharmacies typically will “red flag” a customer for “abuse or misuse, over or under compliance, drug-drug interactions, or a “forged or altered prescription,” according to While being an out-of-state patient alone doesn’t make you suspect, prescriptions filled by doctors a significant distance away from the pharmacy do receive more scrutiny than local prescriptions.

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