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Drug history

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Here is an extract from a medical textbook.

It is essential to obtain full details of all the drugsand medications taken by the patient. Not infrequently patients forget to mention, or forget the name of, drugs they take. Some may be over-the-counter remedies unknown to the general practitioner. The significance of others, such as herbal remedies may not be appreciated by the patient.

It is necessary to determine the precise identity of the drug, the doseused, the frequency of administrationand the patient's complianceor lack of it.

It is important to ask about known drug allergiesor suspected drug reactionsand to record the information on the front of the notes to be obvious to any doctor seeing the patient. Failure to ask the question or to record the answer properly may be lethal.

To find out about drug history, doctors ask:

Details of drugs and medications

■ Which tablet do you take?

Are you taking any medication at
the moment?

Do you use any over-the-counter remedies or herbal or homeopathic medicines?

Frequency of administration Compliance

How many times a day?Do you always remember to take it?

Side-effects and allergies

Do you get any side effects?Do you know if you are allergic to any drug?

If the answer is Yes: What symptoms do you get after taking it?



Family history

Note the age, health or cause of death of parents, siblings (brothers and sisters), spouse (husband or wife), and children. To find out about family history, doctors ask:

■ Do you have any brothers and sisters? ■ Do you have any children? ■ Are all your close relatives alive? ■ Are your parents alive and well? ■ Is anyone taking regular medication? ■ How old was he when he died? ■ Do you know the cause of death? / What did he die of? ■ Does anyone in your family have a serious illness?

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