Going on holidays? It pays to take a medication list

What do you do when you run out of medications or lose them while you are away on holidays?

It’s no problem – provided you keep a list of your medications with you.

Webstercare's PocketProfile Medicines List is an ideal way to keep a track of your regular medications.

This handy little document contains all your medications and other health concerns, and safely folds to fit in a wallet or purse.

“Safe medications make safe holidays,” says pharmacist Gerard Stevens,

“Summer is here and a lot of us travel to see relatives for Christmas and the New Year.  But what happens if you run out of your medications or lose them?

“If you’re on medications, especially life-saving ones – as many of us are – it can be a hassle and worry, especially if you are a long way from home,” he said. “It can be critical that you don’t miss a dose. Being able to explain exactly what you take and what dose can be an issue.

Entire medication profile 

“Who remembers all this information?” asks Mr Stevens, who is also Managing Director and founder of Webstercare, a global leader in medication management systems and medication adherence Webstercare's new PocketProfileCardsolves this problem. It contains a person's entire medication profile, including pictures of the medications being taken, and folds down to the size of a credit card, so it’s easy to keep in your purse or wallet.

It also contains the person's home pharmacy and phone number, enabling a pharmacist at a holiday destination to simply ring the home pharmacy to confirm the medications that were prescribed before issuing emergency replacement medications to last the remainder of the holiday.

“This can give enormous peace of mind to anyone travelling,” said Mr Stevens, the inventor of the PocketProfile Medicines List.

Adverse medication events

Every year millions of Australians suffer adverse medicine events as a result of error and come to harm, hospitalisation and even death. An adverse event is any unintended harm that occurs as a result of a health treatment, and most of these incidents are preventable. Adverse medicine events can include effects like allergic reactions, hallucinations, gastrointestinal bleeding, memory loss and uncontrollable shaking.

So not taking medications as prescribed is a major issue – many studies show that about half of all medicines prescribed are not taken as directed – and this is exacerbated in the elderly and chronically ill who often have to take numerous medicines.

About 30% of all hospital admissions for the elderly in Australia are the result of medication misadventure.

Potentially life-threatening

“Around one-in-five people aged 70 or older are on four or more medications, which they truly need,” says Mr Stevens.

“For instance, they may have poorly controlled high blood pressure requiring two medications, an anticoagulant called warfarin to prevent a stroke because of an irregular heartbeat, and a statin to lower their cholesterol.

“That’s a lot of medications to remember. The evidence is that each one of these drugs has a day by day preventive effect on heart attacks and strokes, which is soon lost when the medication is stopped or forgotten. The result can be a potentially life-threatening or disabling emergency which could have been avoided and no-one wants that, especially on holiday.”

The appeal of the PocketProfile Card is that it is simple.

It won’t shut down

“In an age where things are increasingly digital, users of the PocketProfile Carddon’t need the latest gadgets, apps and electronic devices – it won’t run out of charge and it won’t shut down,” Mr Stevens says.

It includes dosage details, administration instructions, indications and allergies, plus colour photos of each pill, as well as the individual.

“It is particularly helpful in emergency situations; medical staff can immediately see a patient's medications and any other medical concerns.  It also contains ‘in case of emergency’ contact details,” said Mr Stevens.

“For an ambulance officer to attend an incident, and immediately be able to see that the patient takes blood pressure and heart medication, greatly assists any paramedic to treat the patient appropriately. It could be the difference between life and death.”