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Medicine information

Medicine information

Medicines are a form of treatment for many health conditions, and are one of the most common interventions across all of healthcare.

Some medicines are only available from pharmacies, some medicines can be purchased from other stores including supermarkets, others need a prescription from your GP or another healthcare professional.

Our Trust specialises in mental health medicines and can help you make the best use of your medicines by providing you with information, education and expert advice.

Positive Messages Around Medicines to Support Recovery

The Trust teamed up with a group of members with lived experience to identify experiences around medicines, both positive and negative. Through these conversations this resource has been created to share what positive messages our patients would like to hear around medicines and recovery, what messages healthcare professionals should avoid and how this can be achieved. 

Medicine Resources

There are a variety of resources available that can help you make informed choices about your treatment and medicines. The resources below contain reliable information about medicines, which we would recommend that you use.

The Choice and Medication website includes patient information leaflets, handy charts and fact sheets on mental health conditions and medicines. These are useful to help you make a decision about which is the right medicine for you.

The best use of medicines in pregnancy (BUMPs) website provides information leaflets on the use of individual medicines in pregnancy. Information on the use of valproate in pregnancy is also available:

Alternative formats of information

Extra-large print The Choice and Medication website includes extra-large print leaflets, called BILL-XL.

Braille and audio CD The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Medicine Leaflet Line can provide various medicine information leaflets. You will need to provide the name of the medicine and the product code number. This is usually found on the medicine packaging or package insert, e.g. PL xxxxx/xxxx or EU x/xx/xxx/xxx. You may need to ask a sighted person to help you find this information. Tel: 0800 198 5000

Easy read and audio leaflets for patients with learning disabilities, their carer’s and younger people can be found at the following websites:

Medicine information leaflets for children can be found at the following websites:

  • Headmeds (mental health medication information)

Information for parents about their child’s medicines and how to give them:

Other medicine resources and websites that you may find helpful:

For general information:

For help taking your medicines:

For information on drugs and alcohol:


Medicines Helpline

Medicines Helpline

The aim of the Medicines Helpline is to support our patients (and their carers) with medicines related questions following outpatient attendance or discharge from hospital.

Patients (and carers) can call the Medicines Helpline on 020 3513 6829 and speak to one of our pharmacists about their medicines.

The helpline can be contacted Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm (outside of these hours please leave a message and we will call you back). You can also email the helpline on:

If your query is urgent, you can do one of the following outside the Medicines Helpline hours:

  • Contact NHS 111
  • Go to see your local community pharmacist
  • Attend your local Walk-In Centre or A&E department
  • Contact your GP



The Department of Health is dedicated to ensuring that patients and service users have access to recommended medicines and medical devices. These are collected into lists, called formularies, by local NHS organisations. The formularies must be published online so that patients and service users can understand the treatments available on the NHS

NICE technology appraisals

NICE technology appraisals

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises the NHS regarding the treatments that should be made available. NICE is asked to review particular medicines and treatments when their availability varies across the country. These reviews are called NICE technology appraisals (TAs).

Read more about technology appraisals on the NICE website.

Following the review, NICE makes a recommendation as to whether the medicine or treatment should be made available across the whole of the NHS. Once NICE has recommended a medicine or treatment, the NHS is then legally obliged to fund and resource it.

Under the NHS Constitution, patients have the right to receive medicines and treatments that are recommended in NICE TAs if their doctor thinks that they are right for them. When NICE recommends a treatment, the Trust must make it available within three months of that recommendation.

Our formulary

Our formulary

Medicines that have been approved for use within the Trust are collected into a list, or formulary. Formularies are important to help ensure the safe and effective use of medicines. The Trust Drugs and Therapeutics Committee is responsible for reviewing requests for the introduction of new medicines to the formulary where a NICE TA does not exist. It also ensures that NICE TAs are incorporated into the formulary within three months of their recommendation.

All NHS organisations must publish information setting out which NICE TAs are included in their local formularies. Ours and our neighboring Trusts’ are set out below:

Reporting side effects of medicines

Reporting side effects of medicines

Members of the public are encouraged to report side effects to medicines that they have. You can do this by contacting the Medicines Helpline (see above), telling your GP, psychiatrist or care co-ordinator, or you can report it yourself the rough the MHRAs Yellow Card Scheme.

Reporting medicine incidents

Reporting medicine incidents

Patient and carers are encouraged to let a healthcare professional know if they think that a medicine incident has occurred. This is so that it can be investigated properly and those people who contributed to the incident and the wider healthcare team can learn from it to prevent future errors. If you are involved in a medicine incident you may also need further follow up by a healthcare professional.

Examples of medicine incidents might include:
  • Being given an incorrect prescription by a community or hospital pharmacy
  • Taking or being given the wrong medicine or the wrong dose, or having a medicine at the wrong time. This could happen at home or whilst in hospital
  • Taking too much of your medicine
If you would like to report a medicines incident you can speak to your GP, community pharmacy, your psychiatrist, your care coordinator or ring our Medicines Helpline, depending on where you think the error occurred.

Obtaining medicines out of hours

Obtaining medicines out of hours

It is important not to run out of medicines by ensuring you order a further supply in advance of running out. In normal opening times you should contact your GP for further supply. If your GP is closed then you can sometimes get an emergency supply from your regular community pharmacy.

If you do not have a prescription then you can ring NHS 111 for support. See the NHS 111 leaflet uploaded below under related documents for further information on how they can help.

For bank holiday pharmacy opening times in London you can download a London wide spreadsheet by borough to see which pharmacies are open, on the NHS England website.

Feeling physically unwell? Visit your local pharmacist

Feeling physically unwell? Visit your local pharmacist

If you are feeling unwell and need advice you can visit your pharmacy. Information about where to find a community pharmacy can be found here or by calling NHS 111, the 24 hour health helpline.