patient drug advice

Last reviewed 01/2018

In order to derive benefit from modern medicine and to escape harm, patients need to have certain basic information. A survey in Southampton, England, discovered that seven core points were regarded as being particularly important:

  • when and how to take the medicine
  • unwanted effects and what to do about them
  • precautions e.g. effects on driving
  • problems with alcohol and other drugs
  • the name of the medicine
  • the purposes of treatment
  • what to do if a dose is missed


  • (1) Doon M, Walsh JB (1995). Use of chloramphenicol as a topical eye medication, time to cry a halt?. BMJ, 310, 12178.
  • (2) Walker S et al (1998). Lack of evidence of toxicity following topical chloramphenicol use. Eye, 12, 8759.