GPs and pharmacists understand that sometimes people struggle with taking their medicines.
You may be worried about side effects or you may not want to take a medicine if you think it isn't helping you.
Don't be afraid to tell your GP or pharmacist if you've stopped taking any of your medicines.
It's important to take your medicines properly and they will be happy to help.
Not taking your medicines correctly could make your condition worse and waste NHS time and money.
You can make decisions with your GP and pharmacist to make sure your medicines work well for you.
If you find it difficult to remember to take your medicines, you can also talk to them about daily medicine boxes, reminder charts and dose record charts.
Larger, easier to read labels are also available.
Medicines waste costs around £9 million a year in South East London.*
This is money that could be spent on vital NHS services. We all have a responsibility to use medicines responsibly. You can help reduce medicines waste by:
If you need more medicine in the future you can still request it. Stockpiling medicines increases the risk for children and others that may accidentally take them. Unused medicines can not be recycled and issued again even if they have never been opened.
*estimate based on national figure
Using an inhaler is the most common way of taking asthma medicines. However, it is easy to use an inhaler wrongly.
People can forget to shake it before pressing, inhale at the wrong time or not hold their breath for long enough.
For information about using your inhaler in the right way, talk to your asthma nurse, pharmacist or GP.
The Asthma UK website shows how to use different types of inhaler.
The most common inhaler is the Metered Dose Inhaler. To use it:
1. Remove cap and shake inhaler
2. Place your index finger on top of the metal canister and your thumb on the bottom of the plastic mouthpiece
3. Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out gently
4. Put mouthpiece in mouth and as you begin to breathe in slowly, press canister down and continue to inhale steadily and deeply
5. Hold breath for 10 seconds, or for as long as is comfortable
6. If you need a second dose, wait 30 seconds first before repeating steps 1-4. Use only for the
number of doses given on label, and then start a new inhaler.
7. Replace cap when you have finished. If you are using an asthma inhaler that contains a steroid, gargle and rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after each use.
When you find out that you have diabetes, it may be the first time you hear about blood glucose (sugar) testing to help you understand your disease. Once your diabetes has been brought under control then:
When you go into hospital your medicines may be changed. This can be confusing and it is okay to ask for any changes to be explained to you.
Once you have left hospital speak to your GP or pharmacist to make sure you are taking the right medicines.
Old medicines at home may no longer be the right ones. Your GP can make sure that your repeat prescription is up to date.
You can also ask your pharmacist for a free medicines check-up.
Remember: Always take your medicines with you when you go into hospital.
Pharmacists are experts in medicine and a Medicines Use Review is a free NHS service offered by most pharmacies so you can discuss your medicines, understand more about them and solve any problems you may have.
You can ask your pharmacist for a review if:
Remember: anyone can ask their pharmacist for medicines advice at any time.