Structured Medication Reviews
What is a structured medication review?
A structured medication review is a meeting or video/ phone call with a clinical pharmacist who is employed by the GP surgery to review and discuss your medicines. This is helpful for patients who take a lot of medication. Sometimes this may be referred to as a Polypharmacy review. Polypharmacy means using a large number of medications.
We want to support patients to be involved in making decisions about their medicines. It is an opportunity for you to ask questions and find out more about your medicines and check that you are getting the best from your medicines.
Why do I need a structured medication review?
Medicines are prescribed to treat symptoms or diseases, however sometimes your condition changes. When you are prescribed a new medicine you should know:
- Why you have been prescribed the medicine and how to take it
- Possible side effects
- How long to take the medicine for
- To check each medicine is safe to take in combination with your other medicines
The clinical pharmacist wants to check that the medicine is effective, that you’re on the right dose and it isn’t causing any problematic side-effects.
What happens at a structured medication review?
The review is confidential and will involve gathering information from you and your medical record. You may also be asked some questions relating to the medicines you take, for example:
- Are you taking all your medicines?
- Do you know why you have been prescribed medicines?
- Can you take/use the medicine properly?
- Are you having any side effects from any of your medicines?
- Do you have any concerns about your medicines?
- Do you take or use any other medicines that you buy?
The clinical pharmacist may suggest some changes to your medicines using the best available evidence, but you will be involved in the decision-making process.
What should I bring to my structured medication review?
Please bring/ have in front of you all medicines that you are taking that have been prescribed by your GP practice. Also bring/have in front of you any medicines you buy from the pharmacy, health shop or supermarket including herbal or homeopathic medicines, creams, painkillers, eye drops, nasal sprays, and vitamins.
You may want to think about any questions, concerns or suggestions you may have about your medicines. If someone helps you take your medicines you are welcome to have them with you. It can be helpful to make a note of these before the review. Examples of some questions you might have are:
- What is the medicine for, what does it do?
- Why is it important to take the medicine?
- What other treatment options are available?
- How and when do I take it and how long for?
- What are the side-effects?
- How can I tell if the medicine is helping?
- What should I do if I forget to take it and miss a dose?
- What should I do if I become ill whilst taking it?
- Where do I go for information about my medicine?
What happens after my structured medication review?
You will be informed of any changes agreed to at the medication review
The medicines you are prescribed may be changed but only with your agreement
A summary of the meeting will be recorded in your medical records
Where can I get more information?
For further information about your medicines, please contact:
- Your GP Surgery
- Your community pharmacy (chemist)
- NHS Choices website: https://www.nhs.uk/
- Polypharmacy App https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/polypharmacy-guidance/id1072829127