Tag Archives: Medicines

What you can do about suspected side effects of medicines

Did you miss the social media campaign being run by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to promote reporting of suspected side effects?

Medicines have the potential to harm as well as cure. While they are usually safe and effective, there is the risk of side effects and it is important that these are understood.

Side effects? Talk with your pharmacist and report them

If you are concerned about side effects of any medicines you are taking you should ask your pharmacist.

Regulators like MHRA rely on the reporting of suspected side effects by pharmacists, doctors and patients to make sure medicines on the market are acceptably safe.

Unfortunately, all reporting systems suffer from underreporting, and this campaign aims both to raise awareness and help strengthen the system.

You can help make medicines safer by reporting any suspected side effects easily and quickly through the Yellow Card Scheme online or via the mobile app. Go to https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/ for more details.


Find swallowing tablets difficult?

Scientists at the University of Huddersfield are pioneering the use of a special gel that can be used to give medicines to young children and the elderly – groups who often have difficulty swallowing pills and capsules.

Swallowing pill

The gel medicine is made from gellan gum, a natural compound that has been used in foodstuffs until now. It consists of microscopic gel particles which collectively are pourable and can be administered with a spoon. But in the stomach the gel solidifies. This means the drug is not released there, where it would have little effect or even irritate the stomach, but later in the intestine over the course of several hours.

The research is a response to the increasing demand for ‘age appropriate’ drugs. It is important because a major reason for people not taking their medicines properly is the dosage form – be it a tablet, liquid or cream. So if you are having trouble taking your medicines for this reason, speak to your pharmacist. They may be able to suggest an alternative approach.