Medicines

Managing your medicines

It’s important that you know how to manage your medications properly. There can be serious risks if you do not take your medicines as prescribed.

When your GP prescribes your medication, they will tell you when to take them, the quantity and if there will be any side effects.  

It’s also important to plan to ensure that you never run out of your medication. Don’t get caught out late at night or on Bank Holidays when pharmacies may be shut.

If you have trouble managing your medication, such as remembering which pills to take and when, here are some handy tips that could help:

  • keep a diary or planner and tick of each dose as you take it
  • set an alarm to remind you when to take your medication
  • put your medication in a place that is part of your daily routine, such as, next to your breakfast things, on your dining table or eating tray.

Free prescriptions

You usually have to pay for your medicine/treatment prescriptions. However, you can get free NHS prescriptions if you:

  • are 60 or over
  • are under 16
  • are 16 to 18 and in full-time education
  • pregnant or given birth within the last 12 months
  • have certain medical conditions or disabilities
  • and many other reasons.

Getting support

From your GP  

If needed, your GP can review your medicines and find other ways to help you such as:

  • referring you to the district nurses and community health visitors who may review your needs and provide you with support
  • provide other medicines such as capsules or liquid that are easier to take.

From your local pharmacist  

If you need further support speak to your local pharmacist. Your pharmacist can provide advice and guidance to help you take your medication. 

They may suggest you use a dosette box which is marked with the days of the week and the times at which you should take your medication. These can be purchased from pharmacies or online.

Your pharmacist might offer a collection and delivery service for prescriptions if you can't do this yourself.