Making medicines safer for everyone – the Yellow Card Scheme

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Yellow Card AppMany of us take medicines every day, to ameliorate symptoms, to treat and prevent disease. Medicines are essential for many people, unfortunately there is no perfect medicine, all medicines can cause unwanted side effects (sometimes called adverse drug reactions), in some people. Many side effects are mild, but some can be serious and even life-threatening.

The more information we have about a drug the safer that drug is, we can predict how that drug will react in different patients more confidently. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) collects information about adverse drug reactions on Yellow Card reports. The MHRA uses these reports to review medicines.

These reports help to identify previously unknown issues. If issues are found the MHRA can then take action, if the side effects are very serious this may lead to avoiding using that drug in certain susceptible patients, dose adjustments can be advised and in very serious cases the medication may be withdrawn from the market.

Patients as well as healthcare professionals can report. Patient reports are particularly valuable, they provide important insights into how side effects affect quality of life and often provide a detailed timeline.

It is important to remember you only have to report suspicion; you don’t have to be sure it was the drug causing it. The MHRA will assess the reports and investigate suspicions.

Reporting is quick and easy and can be done online, on paper or on the Yellow Card app, the links can be found below.

If you experience / or have experienced a side effect and you want to make that drug safer for other people please report on a Yellow Card. To help raise awareness of drug side effects we would be really interested in hearing your personal stories on how you have been affected, please contact our team at the Yellow Card Centre at swb-tr.SWBH-Team – YCCWestMidlands@nhs.net.

Karamjit Badyal
Pharmacist
Yellow Card Centre West Midlands

How to report:

Onlinehttps://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/
App

You can download the reporting app from the iTunes App Store and Google Play for your IOS or Android device.

Paper – there also paper forms that you can post to the MHRA, ask your GP or pharmacist for a copy.

Find more information at http://yccwm.org.uk/ or on Twitter: @YellowCardWM.