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Patient Information

Controlled drugs

https://kingstonhospital.nhs.uk/information/controlled-drugs

This is for anyone who has been prescribed medicines known as controlled drugs.

What are controlled drugs?

Controlled drugs need special care and control measures. They must only be taken by the person they are prescribed for.

Your pharmacist, doctor or nurse will offer advice on your medicines.  Ask them to explain again if you are unclear about anything.

Always follow the directions on the packaging of your medicines. Read the information leaflet that comes with them.

Controlled drugs can be prescribed as:

  • tablets, capsules, or liquids (to be taken by mouth)
  • lozenges to be sucked
  • patches to put on your skin
  • injections by a doctor or nurse
  • a 24 hour syringe pump
  • nasal sprays
  • suppositories (inserted in your body).

What are possible side effects of controlled drugs?

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea
  • constipation
  • temporary drowsiness.

Speak to your nurse, doctor, or pharmacist if you suffer from any undesirable side effects.

Do not stop taking your medicine suddenly.

How do I store my controlled drugs?

Keep all medicines safely, where you or your carer can find them.

Storing them safely means:

  • out of the sight and reach of children
  • in securely closed containers with the labels intact
  • away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture.

Talk to your nurse or pharmacist about getting a lockable storage box if you need one.

How do I dispose of medicines that I no longer need?

It is important to dispose of all medicines safely. If you have unused medicines, including controlled drugs, take them back to your local pharmacy for safe disposal. 

If you cannot take them to your pharmacy yourself, ask someone responsible to do this for you.

Will carers or community nurses check my controlled drugs when they visit?

Carers or community nurses who visit your home may count and record your controlled drugs. This will help them to check that you have used the right amount and that the drugs are stored safely.

How do I collect my prescriptions?

You, your family or your carers are responsible for collecting your medicines from your local pharmacy.

Community nurses do not collect and deliver controlled drugs.

Speak to your community nurse if you need more information and help with your medicines.

What can I do if I am worried about my controlled drugs?

Call 111 if you suspect someone has taken or used your controlled drugs, or you think you may have taken more than your prescribed dose.

Keep any medicine packaging and labels to show the doctor, nurse or paramedic.
Call 111 graphic
Call 999 immediately for a medical emergency including a suspected overdose.

Keep any medicine packaging and labels to show the doctor, nurse or paramedic.
Call 999
Call your GP for general advice on your controlled drugs.NHS GP image

Controlled drugs - Kingston Hospital Download PDF


Contacts

For general advice on controlled drugs, contact your GP, community nurse or pharmacist
Kingston Hospital Medicines Helpline, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm 020 8934 2092

Translate Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation.
Accessibility Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 8934 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For information accessibility please visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust
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Visit the hospital website, ask a member of staff, or ring us for details.

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Translate

Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation support to access Patient Information. Please ring the phone number on your appointment letter, if you have one.

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Accessibility

Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 893 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For detailed information on accessibility at Kingston Hospital visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble (https://www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust).


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