The cost of prescription drugs can add up quickly each month, especially for people living on a fixed income, which includes many of Wisconsin’s senior citizens.

If you are someone with expensive prescriptions to fill and you are living on a fixed income, you have probably wondered if there are ways to save on your medication costs without compromising your health.

A news station recently highlighted this issue on a segment of “Ask the Pharmacist,” and some great insight was shared. Here are some dos and don’ts for saving money on prescription drugs:

Do talk to your doctor or pharmacist before trading in your prescription for a natural remedy. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it won’t have dangerous side effects, and it might not even save you money.

Don’t stop taking your medications or change your dosage in order to save money. This is one of the most common mistakes people make. Skipping doses or cutting pills in half can be bad for your health and even put your life in danger.

Do let your doctor or pharmacist know that you are having trouble affording your medication because there may be a less expensive alternative available. For many conditions, there is more than one treatment possible and some are much less expensive than others.

Don’t buy drugs off of the Internet on Craig’s List or any other site that isn’t a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site. These medications can be contaminated or contain little to no active ingredients, which is dangerous a waste of money.

Do look on sites with the VIPPS seal for discounted drugs. Oftentimes, online pharmacies will offer sales and deals, just make sure that the site is verified.

Do look into an income-based medical assistance program that can provide you with free or discounted medications. These programs are for individuals in your situation, so don’t be afraid to apply.

Source: Fox CT, “Ask The Pharmacist: Saving Money On Your Medications Without Putting Yourself At Risk,” Doug Stewart, Oct. 6, 2014