The most important thing is to find a way of recording your medicine information that works for you.
All you need to do then is REMEMBER to update your list regularly and then REMEMBER to share your medicine list with those people who are involved in providing your care.
This may include any, or all of the following people;
Your GP, prior to admission to hospital or after discharge from hospital
Your hospital specialist/consultant (seen in outpatient rooms)
Your hospital or community pharmacist
A community nurse or APAC nurse after discharge from hospital
The doctor, nurse or pharmacist in emergency
The pre-admission clinic doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Keeping an up-to-date medication list can help you manage multiple medicines.
If you feel you need help managing your medicines then ask your GP if they could referred you for a Home Medicine Review or take the Home Medication Review quiz.
Local community pharmacist sometimes offer a mini medicines review call a MedsCheck review which is simpler than a home medicines review and is usually conducted in the pharmacy.
What should I record on my medicine list?
A list of your medicines should include all medicines that you take regularly, occasionally and any recently completed courses or medicines you’ve taken.
Video explaining what should be recorded on a medication safety list (from Canada)
This list may include:
Complementary medicines (Vitamins, herbal or natural therapies)
Oral medicines: Tablets, capsules, liquids and syrups
Injected medicines: injections and slow release implant devices
Inhaled medicines: inhalers and puffers
Topical medicines: sprays, sublingual tablets (dissolved under the tongue) and transdermal patches
Inserted medicines: eye drops, nose drops, pessaries and suppositories.
Also remember to record to tell your doctor about:
Insulin and other diabetic medicines
Clinical trial medicines
Hormone replacement therapy
Analgesics (pain medicines) e.g. Ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol or codeine
Medicines used to treat reflux, heartburn, constipation and diarrhoea
Other people’s medicines you may take occasionally
If you take medicines not as prescribed (as per the directions on the packet)
Social and recreational drugs usage.
A record of any known medication allergies
It is important to record information about allergies so that your doctor doesn’t accidently prescribe the same (or similar) medicine again.It is important to understand the difference between an allergy and intolerance to a medicine.
An allergy to a medicine is something that can often cause significant harm, it’s most serious being anaphylaxis which can potentially be life-threatening and requires urgent medical treatment, e.g. swelling of airways after taking a penicillin antibiotic.
An intolerance can describe a less serious side effect to a medicine, e.g an upset stomach after taking ibuprofen tablets.
If you are unsure, record the allergy or intolerance on your medication list and discuss this with your doctor.
On discharge from hospital you may be provided with an Allergy ADR/Alert card. This card should be kept in your purse/wallet for future reference.
Patients with a known anaphylaxis may choose to invest in a MedicAlert item to help communicate allergy, if found unconscious.
Common medication allergies include: