Things not to do:
Don't use a site that bypasses prescriptions. Online pharmacies that dispense medication without a valid prescription are violating U.S. law. Don't be lured in by sites that give you a prescription if you complete an online questionnaire. Only your doctor can safely prescribe medication for you.
Don't order medication that's not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It's illegal to import unapproved drugs into the United States. Taking an inappropriate or unsafe drug can have life-threatening consequences.
Don't overlook the address and phone number. Steer clear of sites that don't provide a street address and phone number or that list only foreign contact information. Use only U.S. pharmacies. International pharmacies may sell drugs that do not have FDA approval or that are illegal in the United States.
Don't succumb to false claims. Don't buy medication from sites that advertise "miracle cures" or those that use impressive terminology to disguise a lack of good science.
Don't keep complaints quiet. If your order doesn't arrive, you find unauthorized charges on your credit card or you have another problem with an online pharmacy, report it to the FDA. Speaking up can help promote a safer marketplace for everyone.
Take control
When your doctor prescribes a medication, make sure you understand why you need it — and how to take it correctly. Whether you fill your prescription at a local pharmacy or online, make sure you get just what the doctor ordered.