Saint Lucia Health Ministry shares guidelines on medicines, prescriptions
Saint Lucia Health Ministry shares guidelines on medicines, prescriptions

Saint Lucia: Certainly, medicines are used to treat diseases and improve health. Although medicines make you feel better, it is important to know that all medicines have risks as well as benefits.

The useful effects you get when you use them, such as relieving pain, lowering blood sugar and blood pressure and curing the infection, can be counted as the benefits of the medicines. On the other side, there are chances that something unwanted or unexpected could happen to you when you use them, like kidney or liver damage.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs encourages people to obtain medicines only from a pharmacy.

The Pharmacy Act Cap. 11.21 prescribes four (4) different categories of medicines. 1. Controlled. 2. Over-the-counter medicines (OTC). 3. Pharmacist Assisted. 4. Prescription-only.

Controlled and prescription-only medicines have to be prescribed by a doctor or other authorized health professional, and they should be dispensed from a pharmacy. The pharmacist must keep the prescription for controlled medicines; thus, a 28-day supply is given.

Pharmacist-assisted medicines can be bought only from pharmacies and under a pharmacist’s supervision.

Prescriptions, which are written instructions by a doctor or other authorized health professional, authorize a patient to be provided with the medicine. Prescriptions must be filled by a pharmacy. Prescriptions for chronic conditions can be valid for up to six (6) months from the day it is written. Prescriptions for antibiotics are valid for only seven (7) days from the day it is written.

We ask that people be familiar with their medicines. Take their medicines at the same time each day. Check them to see if they are in good condition. Keep a list of your medicines to determine which ones are missing. Check your prescriptions to ensure that it is valid.

Remember, the prime concern of the pharmacist is the patient. If you are not sure of anything, ask your pharmacist.