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Prescribing guidance: Reviewing medicines

51. Whether you prescribe with repeats or on a one-off basis, you must make sure that suitable arrangements are in place for monitoring, follow-up and review, taking account of the patients’ needs and any risks arising from the medicines.

52. When you review a patient’s medicines, you should re-assess the patient’s need for unlicensed medicines (see paragraphs 67–70), for example antipsychotics used for the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia.

53. Reviewing medicines will be particularly important where:

a. patients may be at risk, for example, patients who are frail or have multiple illnesses

b. medicines have potentially serious or common side effects

c. the patient is prescribed a controlled or other medicine that is commonly abused or misused

d. the BNF or other authoritative clinical guidance recommends blood tests or other monitoring at regular intervals.

54. Pharmacists can help improve safety, efficacy and adherence in medicines use, for example by advising patients about their medicines and carrying out medicines reviews. This does not relieve you of your duty to ensure that your prescribing and medicines management is appropriate. You should consider and take appropriate action on information and advice from pharmacists and other healthcare professionals who have reviewed patients’ use of medicines, especially following changes to their medicines or if they report problems with tolerance, side effects or with taking medicines as directed.