Chair of NHS Newham CCG and GP Dr Zuhair Zarifa raises awareness of free medicines check-ups


- Credit: Archant

As a GP I see many patients with conditions which mean they need to take medicines for long periods of time.

If you are taking long-term medicines, I encourage you to speak to your GP, nurse or pharmacy about a free medicines check-up.

The check-up gives you the chance to talk about your medicines and if you have noticed any changes to the way you feel.

By looking at the record of your current medicines, your GP, nurse or pharmacist may suggest you take them at a different time, or change how regularly you take them.

A small change can make a big difference to your health.

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We want to make sure people are taking medicines when they need them and understand the exact dose and when it should be taken. Picking up medicines in advance can lead to them going out of date, or your GP could change your prescription.

That’s why you should only refill your prescriptions when you run out.

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It’s also important to read the label and store your medicines as directed. Some medicines need to be stored in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.

The way you store medicines can affect how long they last.

You should also never use medicine prescribed for someone else or that has expired.

Managing medication can be complicated, particularly if you are taking several, and treating different conditions. An easy way to manage medicines is to write a list, which includes information on the date, time of day and how you take them. Place the list on the fridge or keep it in your wallet or purse, this will help to remind you to take medicines on time and in the right way.

At NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group we have launched a campaign to raise awareness of free medicines check-ups.

You can find posters and leaflets at your GP practice, pharmacy and at Newham University Hospital.

For more information about managing your medicines or to book a free medicines check-up, speak to your local GP, nurse or local pharmacist.

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