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Back to the Medicine Safety

The Medicine Review

A medicine review is a meeting with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss your medication.  This is something that should occur at least once a year with both your GP and pharmacist.The intention is to get the best out of their medicine whilst limiting the side effects the patient is experiencing.

Doctor taking blood pressure of older pa



Why do I need a medicines review?

When you are first prescribed a medicine your doctor/pharmacist’/nurse will check to see if this is the best medicine for you.  They will check to see if anything in your health, lifestyle and other medications that you may be taking could cause potential harm if mixed with your medicine.  If it is felt safe, but that there is a concern they will draw your attention to it an example is that on some medications you are advised not to use alcohol.

However, over time things may change, so it is important to review your medication.  These could include:

  • You may have new additional health problems.

  • Your lifestyle may have changed (maybe you stopped smoking).

  • You may be taking new medications.

  • The side affects you are experiencing may be worse.

  • The guidelines for treating your condition may have changed.

  • You may be taking a large number of medicines (polypharmacy)

  • The medicine may no longer be needed.

  • Maybe there is something that can be done instead of taking the medication, such as using vitamins, or doing exercise or changing their diet.

What happens at a Medicine Review?

A medicine review should take between 10 and 30 minutes.  The doctor/pharmacist/nurse will review your medical record and use this information to check to see if your medicines are appropriate to your needs.   This is also an opportunity for you to share any worries you might have about your medicine and to ask any questions that you may have.  Sometimes they may make new recommendations regarding your medicine, and you will be asked if you agree.  This review is your opportunity to also make sure that you understand your medication, the quantity you are on, and how it may affect you. This will enable you to have informed choice.    In some cases, you may be referred for a Medicines Use Review & Prescription Intervention Service with your pharmacist

Downloadable information

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