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What we have to say about your health and well being
Nov 2013
Worried about side effects? A side effectis an unintendedreactionthat occurs to a medicine at doses normally used for treatment that, in some cases, can cause harm to a patient. All medicines can cause side effects, also known as adverse drug reactions (ADRs), which can range in severity from mild to serious and even life-threatening; these include reactions that are as a result of error, misuse, abuse and where the medicine is usedoutside of its approved use. In the UK, side effects to medicines are monitoredby the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) via the Yellow Card Scheme. Occasionally, side effects can appear after a person has stopped taking the medicine, while some side effects might not be discovered until many people have been taking the medicine for a long time. That’s why it is important for people to report any suspected side effects by completing a Yellow Card. Yellow Cards are used as an early warning system to identify side effects and other problems which might not have been known about before. If a new side effect is found, the MHRA will review the way that the medicine can be used, and the warnings that are given to people taking or using it.Reporting enables the MHRA to make medicines safer for everyone. If you are worried about a symptom that you think may be a side effect: Check the patient information leaflet supplied with the medicine. This lists the known side effects and advises you what to do. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor You can also get information from: NHS Direct in England and Wales on 0845 46 47 (textphone 0845 606 4647) NHS24 in Scotland on 08454 24 24 24 (textphone 18001 08454 24 24 24) If you think a medicine, vaccine or herbal remedy has caused a side effect, please report the problem by completing aYellow Card. The MHRA and the National Pharmacy Association advise that you consult your pharmacist or other health professional about any suspected side effect or adverse reaction from a medicine that you are worried about. The MHRA cannot provide medical advice on individual cases
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Latest Advice
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
  • New continuous cough and/or
  • High temperature
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste  

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness If you have coronavirus symptoms:
  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
  • You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home
  • Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home
  • Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
  • Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
  • Visit NHS 111 Online for more information

Stay at Home
  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)
  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section below for more information
  • If you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • If you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
Find out more about UK Gov Coronavirus Response
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