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Information about your medicines

Frequently asked questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about medicines. Before taking any medicine, always read the information leaflet provided and be aware of side effects.

How should I take my medicine?

Your medication should be taken as directed on the label. The patient information leaflet provided with your medicines will give you general information about how to use your medicines and any side effects that you may experience. If you cannot find a label on the medication you have been given please contact the ward or the pharmacy department that supplied the medication for further advice.

What should I do if I feel unwell after taking my medicine or if I experience side effects?

The information leaflet provided with your medicine will tell you what to do if you experience any side effects. You can also speak to your doctor or pharmacist or you may also want to report this using the ‘Yellow Card’ reporting system.

How do I get a further supply of medication?

Your hospital doctor, pharmacist, or nurse will inform your GP of any changes to your medicines and in most cases, your GP will prescribe further supplies of your medicines. Occasionally, your hospital will continue to prescribe your medication and this should be discussed with you before you go home.

You should always make sure that you have adequate supplies of your medicines. It may take a few days to change a repeat prescription or start a new medicine and you should allow your GP three or four days to organise a new prescription for you when you have left hospital.

How do I dispose of unwanted medicines?

You should take any unwanted medicines to your community pharmacy for safe disposal.

Sharps (needles and syringes) should be disposed of in a yellow sharps bin. You may get one when you are discharged from the hospital, or you may have to ask your GP to prescribe one for you.

The following councils offer a free medical waste collection service to dispose of sharps and other clinical waste (e.g. dressings, stoma bags) disposed of in a yellow clinical waste bag. More information can be found on their respective websites or you can arrange collection by calling the telephone numbers listed below:

The City of York Council

Tel: 01904 551550

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Tel: 01482 393939

Scarborough Borough Council

Tel: 01723 232323

Ryedale District Council

Tel: 01653600666

Selby District Council

Tel: 01757 705101

Do I have to pay for my medicines?

When you are discharged from hospital you will not be charged a prescription fee for any medications that are supplied from the hospital pharmacy.

If you have been prescribed medication that will continue and you usually pay for your prescription, you will need to pay for a repeat supply from your community pharmacy. Click here for the latest prescription charge information.

Some patients are exempt from prescription charges. If you are unsure whether you fall within the exemption criteria you can find further information here

If you are prescribed a number of medicines, it may be cheaper for you to purchase a pre-payment certificate (PPC). A PPC covers you for all your NHS prescription costs. Click here for further information on pre-payment certificates.

Useful leaflets

Information leaflets for a range of medicines and conditions are available to download from the patient leaflets page.

Other websites

Use the links below to access reliable, patient-friendly information about your medicines and health conditions.


An A - Z medicine directory.

NHS Choices

Information on medicines, medical conditions, and local NHS services.

Medicines for Children

Information on medicines and medical conditions in children, provided by the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG).


Information on the use of specific medicines during pregnancy, provided by the UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS).

Find a pharmacy

Find a late night, 24-hour, or out-of-hours pharmacy service in your area or check your local pharmacy opening times at

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