MS – Reporting Side Effects of Your Medication Joan Jordan

Reporting Side Effects of Your Medication


Thursday November 19 2015 10:30 AM

I was on my way to pick up the kids from soccer practice the other day when I realised I had forgotten my phone! It was too late to make it back home to retrieve it and as it turned out, I had to wait a while for the final whistle. With my only other option being the car manual, I decided to re-read the package leaflet for my MS meds. Every time I get a new pack, I toss the tiny paper concertina aside and pop the plastic bubble to get my daily dose. I had read the entire thing when I started taking them almost two years ago and to be honest- it was tough going.

As the concertina unfolds, I read about what my medication is and what it is used for, what I need to know before I take it and how to take it. I must say that the language is quite clear – considering the subject matter. Now for the crescendo- the side effects…. If you have any hypochondriac tendencies, this is where they come out to play. First the “could be or could become” serious side effects (common – uncommon – rare). Next up is the plain old side effects (very common – common – uncommon – rare – not known). The rest of the booklet details storage information, contents of the pack and other information. In my mind, I’m still stuck on the side effects section.

When I get home and back to my beloved internet, I checked out a page mentioned in the leaflet. It’s called the Yellow Card Scheme and it’s for reporting side effects directly in the UK. I thought it was a clever name and it stuck in my mind. You can find it on:

The Irish equivalent is:

It is important for people to report problems experienced with medicine or medical devices as these are used to identify issues which might not have been previously known about.

On balance, I am glad that I revisited the package leaflet for my medication. From now on, I will check the “This leaflet was last revised on” date when I pick up my prescription and re-read if required. Scanning through the known side effects is not pleasant but makes me focus on any health issues I may have been dismissing and prompts me to report them. I also will not forget my phone when I am picking up the kids!

How do you inform yourself about the side effects of your medication? Have you ever reported a side effect and how did you do this? I would love to hear from you!

Author: Joan Jordan

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