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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 29 January
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 29 January 2008
Assorted pills and tablets

Full programme transcript >>

Side Effects

In this edition of Case Notes, Dr Mark Porter looks at some of the unwanted side effects of medication.

His guest is Nick Bateman, Professor of Clinical Toxicology at the University of Edinburgh.

Every drug on the market in Britain has gone through rigorous testing to prove it can be used safely in humans. However, with every packet of drugs there is a leaflet telling you of the side effects you could suffer. They are listed in order of frequency.

If you were to suffer any side effects from taking a drug, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency wants to know. They have set up a Yellow Card system that encourages doctors, pharmacists and patients to write in with symptoms suffered so they can update their knowledge of that drug. From February 2008, you will be able to report any side effects to your local pharmacist or fill in the form online.

It is also important to be aware of herbal remedies and their side effects. There are three categories of herbal remedy, unlicensed, licensed and herbal products licensed as food supplements. At the moment, only the licensed herbal products are regulated. This means they are labelled with a license number starting with THR (Traditional Herbal Registration) followed by a license number. This means the drug contains what the label claims.

Herbal remedies can interact with orthodox drugs and so it is important that health professionals know exactly what you are taking in order to prescribe the correct dosage drug or even advise different drug regimes.

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