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Medicines Check

You can make an appointment with your local Numark pharmacist to discuss how you are getting on with your regular medicines. It will allow you to learn more about your medicines and ask any questions you may have, and if you are having any difficulties taking your medicines your pharmacist will be able to help.

Please note: This service is only available in England and Wales.

What is a Medicines Use Review?

A Medicines Use Review is a face-to-face discussion between you and your pharmacist, with a carer,relative or partner present if you wish. It allows you to ask questions about the medicines you use, both those prescribed and any bought over the counter. It is designed to help you to better understand how, when and why you should take your medicines.

Your pharmacist can explain, in detail, the condition for which each medicine is prescribed and discuss how you can get the most benefit from your medication. Your pharmacist may need to ask you questions about your health to provide you with the best possible advice and how to get the most from each medicine you take.

Possible questions that you may wish to ask

  • What does the medicine do?
  • Why has the medicine been prescribed?
  • How should the medicine be taken? e.g. swallowed whole or with plenty of water.
  • When is the best time to take each medicine?e.g. before or after food or at night.
  • Can all the medicines be taken at the same time?
  • How do I know that my medicine is working?
  • What should I do if I experience side effects?
  • Can I drink alcohol with a medicine?
  • Do I have to take all my medicines?
  • Can I stop taking a medicine or only take it when I feel unwell?
  • Can I be sure that a medicine is safe?
  • How and when to use a monitoring device?

During your review

You will need to give your consent before the start of the discussions and whether you agree that the information can be shared with your GP or any other individual. The pharmacist will have an informal discussion with you about
your medicines, what you know about them, how and when you take them.

You may also be asked other questions about:

  • Medicines you have taken in the past
  • Any allergies or side effects you have
  • Your medical condition and how well you think your medicines are working
  • Any problems you have in taking or remembering to take your medicine
  • Any over the counter medicines you have

The pharmacist will discuss with you each medicine in turn, what you take it for, also how and when you take it. He will ask you if you are experiencing any side effects and if you believe the medicine is working.

An action plan is produced that highlights any issues identified during the review; this will include mutually agreed solutions,which may include referral to your doctor or another healthcare professional.

A copy of the review will be given to you, a copy will be sent to your doctor (if you are happy with it) and the other copy will remain with the pharmacist to help when it is time for your next review. If you and the pharmacist believe that a follow up review will be beneficial, this can also be arranged.

Why do I need a review?

The aim of the review is to make sure that the medicines are right for you and that they are working effectively.
Many patients take medicines without any concern or ill effects. You may not however get the full benefit from your prescribed medicines, as you may inadvertently not always take them as the doctor intended.

If you have a long-term condition or multiple medications, this increases the possibility of interactions and compliance issues.

Benefits to you:

  • It gives you a dedicated and exclusive opportunity to talk with your pharmacist about all your medicines and treatment
  • Your pharmacist can help you become more knowledgeable about your condition, your medicines and the reasons for your dosage routine
  • It provides you with a review of your medicines use, if you are unable to see your GP
  • The review is designed to support you in your treatment and in taking your medicines
  • By providing advice and counselling, your therapy should be improved

Who will carry out the review?

An accredited pharmacist carries out medicines use reviews. Pharmacists undertake five years training, specifically about medicines and how they work. They also work closely with local doctors, nurses and other local healthcare professionals.

You can talk openly and in complete confidence with your pharmacist in the knowledge that you will be listened to by a sympathetic healthcare professional.

Preparing for your review

To get the most benefit from your review, the pharmacist will need you to bring with you one pack of every medicine you are taking. Please remember to also bring any over the counter medicines, herbal or alternative therapy that you also take. This includes creams, ointments, lotions and inhalers. Also bring your repeat prescription request form (The form you use to order medicines from your doctor)

If you use a monitoring device, such as blood glucose monitor, peak flow meter or blood pressure meter please bring these as well. If you would like to have your partner or carer present then they are welcome to attend with you.

Ideally you should have some idea of what you would like to get out of the review, such as more information about your condition, your medicines or lifestyle advice. Write down any questions or concerns you may have, if this helps you remember.

For more information about this service contact your local Numark pharmacy.