If you are prescribed medicines, you will be asked either to collect these from one of our hospital pharmacies or from your GP.
Frequently asked questions
We aim to answer some of your questions you may have about your medicine.
How should I store my medicines?
Medicines should be kept in their original packaging and stored in a cool, dry, dark place out of the sight and reach of children. Some medicines need to be kept in the fridge – this will be clearly marked on the packet or instruction leaflet.
What should I do with leftover or expired medicines?
Make sure that you never take a medicine after its expiry date, which will be printed on the packet. Never throw unused or expired medicines in the rubbish bin or flush them down the toilet. Take unwanted medicines to a pharmacy, where they can be disposed of safely.
Is it safe to take herbal medicines?
Herbal medicines are often thought to be safe as they are ‘natural’. They do however have an effect on the body and can lead to side-effects and so should be used with care. They may also interact with your other medicines, medical conditions, or be unsafe if you are undergoing surgery. Always let your doctor or pharmacist know about any herbal medicines you are taking.
What should I do if I have any questions or concerns about my medicines?
Speak to your pharmacist first. If they can't help or they think that you need to see your doctor, they will advise you to do that. Alternatively, if you are a patient at Guy's and St Thomas’, you can call our pharmacy medicines helpline for advice on 020 7188 8748 (open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday).
The journey of medicine
Andrew Hunter has a rare blood condition that cause small clots in his blood making it hard for his kidneys to work properly. Andrew’s doctor prescribed a special infusion of medicine to manage the condition and to help prevent it from getting worse. He receives the medicine once every two weeks.
Louise Condon, specialist pharmacist, explains: “The day before Andrew is due to receive his treatment, we check the original prescription. Then, on the day itself, we give the order to the aseptics team who prepare the medicine.”
The aseptics team are specialist pharmacists and technicians who prepare medicines in sterile environments to stop them becoming contaminated by dirt or bacteria.
Penny Player, principal aseptic services technician, says: “We make sure the volumes of the medicine are correct and we clean the vials. Then we mix the raw ingredients together inside an isolator with sterile air, to make sure that no bacteria can get inside.
“Once we’ve done all that and everything has been double-checked, we put the medicine under a special light that allows us to check for contaminants. If it passes the test, Andrew’s medicine is ready to be collected by a nurse and taken up to the ward for him.”
Andrew concludes: “I know I’m very fortunate. I don’t suffer any side-effects, I can lead a normal life and I consider myself lucky to have a very supportive family and to be in the hands of the professional pharmacists and kidney teams at Guy’s.”