Yellow Card Scheme - Please Use It!

Yellow Card Scheme - Please Use It!

The MHRA's Yellow Card scheme has been mentioned many times recently. Unfortunately, although the press release is dated 2012, the rate of reporting adverse effects of medicines has been falling.

It would be marvellous if this was because fewer people were suffering adverse effects, but I am a touch too realistic to believe that! I firmly believe that the number of reports should be at least ten times the number they report, probably a hundred times.

Please, if you have reason to believe that a medicine you are taking has adverse effects, report it.

Press release including video:

Direct link to the Yellow Card page:

All that is required is an honest belief or suspicion that adverse effects were caused by a medicine - and a few minutes to fill in a report. Absolutely it is fine to post here about these things; absolutely it is better if there was also a Yellow Card report filed by you. You don't need anyone else's permission. You don't have to persuade your doctor. Just do it - if appropriate!


14 Replies

  • I did once and nothing came of it

  • How do you know nothing came of it?

    MHRA inevitably take the number of reports into account. Yours might have been the one that tipped over from "interesting" to "action" somewhere - or one in a pile which has not yet grown enough. Who knows? Further, investigations might very well take a long time. We saw that in the Teva case it took months for action and many more months for a report. Finally, so far as I am aware, they make no representation that they will contact each Yellow Card reporter with follow-up.

    Unless we do file YC reports, the MHRA and everyone else can always turn round and point at that as a reason for non-action. "You didn't tell us the medicine was having that effect on you." - and they would be right. My view is: File reports and at least the possibility of action exists. I don't think that the relatively small investment of time and effort to do so should be begrudged even if there is no obvious impact of so doing.


  • I have just used it to report my bad reactions to Mercurypharma 25mcg. levo.

  • :-)

    Thank you.

  • I have already filled in the form and I believe that as a result of numerous complaints levothyroxine is being dropped and reformulated in July. There is something very cynical happening with pharmaceutical companies. they seem to be only granting licences for levothyroxine snd Erfa to my GP and when I asked him for a private prescription for NDT (I had been on Eltroxin for many years with no ill effects) he would not give it to me even though I had found a pharmacist who would post it off to me within a coupe of days. All my GP could say is to stay on the levothyroxine until July (what kind of an answer is that?) or he could send me to an endo. They have brought about this condition by forcing me onto medication which is causing side effects and now wants to put me into a position of invasive intrusion to which I will not subject myself. In law there is a Latin maxim "Volenti non fit injuria" No injury can be done to he who consents. But you do not consent to negligent treatment.

    Looking at all the problems on this site, good advice is being given regarding bombarding the MHRA with reports of side effects and perhaps we will be give a better choice of medication.

    This is known as Patient Power. NDT which is so successful in the States and other countries should be licenced here and GPs should not br cowtowing to the expensive whims of pharmaceutical companies to our detriment.

  • veronica,

    I am a bit confused by what you wrote. May I try to ensure I have understood?

    In the UK levothyroxine and liothyronine are the only licensed thyroid hormone tablets.

    Erfa is licensed in Canada.

    NDT (I prefer the term "desiccated thyroid") refers to products made from dried porcine thyroid and made tight specifications on thyroid hormone content. The well-known makes include Nature-Throid, Armour, Erfa, Westhroid, Westhroid P and NP Thyroid.

    Almost any pharmacist in the UK can get hold of at least Nature-Throid and Armour within a few days - very likely by ordering from Idis, a specialist importer.

    Your GP, by offering Erfa, is going way beyond what most GPs would do. It is not licensed in the UK but, because it is licensed in Canada some UK doctors feel more comfortable with that than, say, Armour which is not actually licensed even in the USA.


  • Point taken your knowledge is obviously greater than mine. But my GP says that he would not recommend Erfa and will not give me a prescription, private or otherwise for NDT. So what do I do?

  • You have two realistic choices:

    Take the thyroid hormone products your GP (or anyone else you can get to see) will prescribe. Probably levothyroxine with an outside chance of liothyronine.

    Obtain your own desiccated thyroid without the support of your GP.

    The second option has lots of problems, such as identifying a reliable supply and ensuring you're are adequately monitored, etc.

    Erfa most definitely is desiccated thyroid (NDT). If your GP will prescribe it (despite not recommending it), then you are sorted.


  • I agree ,we should get a choice of what meds we take ,after all weare the ones who know what meds we feel well on ,not some doctor that does not suffer these health issues .x

  • I've just done it. I doubt anything will come of it. I have - after 2 months - just received a reply from the Department of Health. Some idjit called Lamb. My missives never got anywhere near Jane Ellison. Mr Lamb was patronising, misleading and toed the current line on thyroidism 110%. I have told my MP how disappointed I was to have waited sooo long for so very little. Like that's going to help. But at least he needed preen himself on having helped another satisfied constituent. :o(

  • how absolutely predictable

  • I had a very long conversation with my pharmacist and he said he had reported that many people were becoming unwell on their medication even though they had been stable for years . He said the drug companies were not listening and it would take people power to make a change .The problem with Teva last year is a prime example ,they did not listen until many people complained. It really annoys me that poorly people have to fight so hard .

  • I am glad your pharmacist is aware and alert. Ideally we would have many pharmacists getting involved, making reports to the MHRA, and generally backing us up. Don't wish to paint all pharmacists with the same brush but it sometimes appears that the many locum pharmacists don't have the same, umm, involvement with their patients/customers as long-term regular staff.

    The fact that Teva appeared to have no idea that their product was defective was shocking. Can't decide if it is better to think of them as ignorant, or of knowing but not taking it seriously and acting appropriately. Same end result, of course.

    Did you see my post the other week?


  • Hi Marfit - My symptoms when taking Mercurypharma 25mcg. levo were fizzing r.h. heel, anxiety and itching. I informed my pharmacist and I am now on Wockhardt 25 which, touch wood, seems to be OK. I decided to send yellow card because I am sure my sugery won't do as they seem to be very chaotic. Jax x

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