Frequently Asked Questions

How can the Hospital Pharmacist help me while I am in St. Johns Hospital?

  • A hospital pharmacist will visit your ward each working day during your stay at St. John’s Hospital.
  • If you don’t see the hospital pharmacist when he or she visits and would like to, ask the nurse to contact the hospital pharmacist for you.
  • The hospital pharmacist will :
    • Review your medicines
    • Teach you about your medicines
    • Discuss questions you have about your medicines
    • Provide medicines for you while you are in hospital

What should I tell the hospital pharmacist?

The names of medicines or health remedies that you have been taking at home including those bought at :

  • Your local pharmacy
  • The supermarket
  • Health food shops
  • Herbal shops or from herbal practitioners

Remember to tell the doctor and nurse who is admitting you to the hospital about any medicines you are taking, and if you have any allergies to medicines, foods or any other item in the past.

Should I bring my medicines with me when I come into hospital?

( …. I thought that the hospital would provide any medicine I need while I am in hospital…)

  • YES, it is true that the hospital will provide any medicine you need while you are in hospital. However it is very helpful to us if you bring all your medicines with you, (including any herbal medicines) when you are coming into hospital. This helps us know what medicines you are taking and how frequently you are taking these. Sometimes for example, if you are admitted late at night or when the hospital pharmacy is closed, your own medicines may have to be used for a short period so that you don’t miss out on any of your tablets.
  • If you are taking a medicine obtained on a ‘HIGH TECH’ prescription (this is a medicine that you must collect from a designated community pharmacy), make sure to bring it with you to hospital because you will continue to use your own medicine while you are in hospital unless the Doctor stops the treatment
  • If you have started eye drops or inhalers before admission, your own medicine will be used because these go off quickly once they are opened. A fresh supply will be provided to you in hospital if needed.

When I arrive to the hospital what do I do with my medicines?

When you arrive to the ward, give your medicine to the nurse. The nurse will place these in a secure area for safekeeping or may ask you, once the doctor has seen the medicines, to arrange for these to be taken home. Remember to ask for your medicines to be returned when you are going home.

Leaving the hospital: what about my new medicines? Will I get a prescription?

  • When you are going home, you will receive a prescription from the doctor for the medicines that you need to continue to take at home.
  • If you have any questions about your new medicines, the doctor, nurse or hospital pharmacist will be happy to answer these for you.
  • It is very important for your recovery that you know what medicines you are taking and that you take these exactly as prescribed by the doctor.

What should I know about my medicines?

  • The names of all the medicines you take.
  • The dose that you take and when to take your medicines
  • The reason why you are taking the medicines
  • How your medicine works
  • Any special instructions so that your medicines work safely and effectively
  • The possible side effects that may occur and what to do if they arise

It is a always a good idea that your partner, another family member or carer knows what medicine you are taking.

  • If you are taking a number of different medicines, the hospital pharmacist can prepare a ‘Medicines List’ for you. This will tell you what medicines to take and the best time to take them.
  • It will also give a short description of how the medicine works.

Medicines can be expensive, how will I manage?

If you have a medical card.

  • The hospital prescription can be dispensed at your local community pharmacy or any pharmacy straight away, once you have your medical card number.
  • You will receive seven days supply free of charge. During this time you can go to your GP to get the prescription transferred onto your regular GMS medical card prescription.

If you don’t have a medical card.

  • Your new prescription can be dispensed at any pharmacy.
  • If you are part of the Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS) already, then it is better to go to your usual pharmacy so that the cost of your prescription will be included on your DPS.
  • The DPS sets a limit on the maximum amount of money you spend on medicines in any one month. You pay for your medicines up to a certain point and after that you will get any other medicines free of charge. Ask you local community pharmacist about the scheme and s/he can help you to enrol.
  • For other people with specified long-term illnesses, like diabetes or epilepsy, some medicines are provided free of charge. Your hospital or community pharmacist or doctor can tell you when this applies to you.

Who can I discuss my medicine with when I go home?

  • Make sure that you know as much as you can about your new medicine before you leave the hospital. The hospital consultants, junior doctors, hospital pharmacists and nursing staff are always ready to answer your questions.
  • Your GP and community pharmacist can give you more information about your medicines when you go home.
  • With each of your medicines you will receive a ‘Patient Information Leaflet’ from your community pharmacist. Take time to read it and do ask your community pharmacist or doctor any questions that come up.

Department of Pharmacy Contact Details

The department can be contacted at (061) 462171 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.