The Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has launched a social media campaign to promote reporting of suspected side effects from over-the-counter medicines.

From 20-24 November, MHRA is running a social media campaign to promote recognition and reporting of suspected side effects from over-the-counter medicines, as part of an EU-wide awareness week.

While medicines are safe and effective, side effects can happen, even with over-the-counter medicines. It is important the risks associated with all medicines are understood and communicated to health professionals and patients.

Potential side effects may range from a headache or sore stomach, to flu-like symptoms or just ‘feeling a bit off’ and reporting these can help regulators monitor medicines on the market and take action as appropriate.

Regulators such as MHRA rely on the reporting of suspected side effects to make sure medicines on the market are acceptably safe. Unfortunately, all reporting systems suffer from under reporting – this is why our campaign is important to both raise awareness and help strengthen the system.

Mick Foy, Group Manager for MHRA’s Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines division, said:

The most important part of our work is making sure the medicines you and your family take are effective and acceptably safe.

Our campaign will help the public, patients and healthcare professionals report potential side effects and have confidence that their reports are making a difference.

You can help make medicines safer by reporting any suspected side effects easily and quickly online through the Yellow Card Scheme.

The campaign is part of the Strengthening Collaboration for Operating Pharmacovigilance in Europe (SCOPE) Joint Action project. One of its main aims is to raise awareness of national reporting systems for suspected side effects in medicines.

Posted on the UK MHRA website on 21 November 2017