Stockpiling medicines at home:-
Ordering more than you need can lead to your medicine cabinet bursting at the seams! It is important that you do not let this happen because:
- It can lead to confusion and mistakes if medicines and/or instructions are changed
- Medicines can go out of date and become dangerous or ineffective to use
- They can be dangerous if they get into the wrong hands
- Hundreds of millions of pounds-worth of unused medicines are destroyed every year
Please do not over-order and stockpile medicines - it can be dangerous for you and others, and is wasteful.
Getting rid of unused/unwanted medicines
- If you have a lot of medicines at home, it’s a good idea to have a sort through them
- Take anything you don’t need back to your local chemist for safe destruction. (None can be reused)
- Remember that your local chemist may be able to help you if you ask
Please return unused/unwanted medicines to your pharmacy for safe disposal. Checks on your medicines once items are put on repeat prescription, you will still need regular checks.
The following are examples of why medicines need to be checked or changed:
- Your condition might have changed and your medicines may need altering.
- You may need certain tests to check that your medicines are working and that they are not causing problems.
- Different medicines may become available which will suit you better.
- Research may have found a better way of treating your condition.
- A more cost effective medicine may have become available.
A regular review of your repeat medications is essential and helps you to get the best out of them
Are more expensive medicines better?
- Brand-named drugs are more expensive for medicines just like for clothes and food. The actual medicines in them are exactly the same and do the same job. (NB: a small number of medicines need to be prescribed by brand for clinical reasons.)
- Your doctor may change your medicines to make sure that we have better value for our NHS (pound for pound)
- The quality of your medicines is the same and you will always get the medicines that you need
- Remember that you can help by not over-ordering and wasting medicines.
- More expensive medicines are no better than cheaper alternatives. Money saved goes back to the NHS, so that more people can be treated.
Remember that your medicines are only for you. Your medicines were especially chosen to suit your needs. Sharing medicines with friends and family can be very dangerous.
Do not share your medicines with others - you may be putting them at risk Knowing your medicines and how to take them It is important that you, or someone who helps you knows your medicines so that you can get the best out of them.
Make sure you know:
- The names of your medicines and what they are for
- When and how to take them
- Which ones are essential and which ones you can take only when you need them
- Possible side-effects to look out for
- What effects any other medicines you buy may have on your prescribed medicines How to get information about your medicines
- Remember always to read the information leaflet you get with your medicine
- Books and the Internet are other places where you can get information about medicines
- To help you to make sense of this information, or alternatively, as a good place to start, you could ask the advice of your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. If you are unsure about your medicines, please ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse for advice
Medicines aren’t always the answer
- Medicines are not always the best treatment, for example, antibiotics don’t work for viral infections
- Many people can avoid medicines by making changes in their lifestyle such as stopping smoking, losing weight, and taking exercise.
- Medicines can be important in helping us to look after our health, but they do not come without their problems, so only take what you really need. Look after your health as best you can in all ways. Respect the medicines which you need to take and avoid medicines that you do not need.