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Leaflet: Your Just in Case Medication

Information for patients and carers

What are ‘Just in Case’ medications?

‘Just in Case’ medications are a small supply of injectable medication kept in your home just in case you might need it in the future. Sometimes, it can be difficult to get these drugs in a hurry, especially at night or at weekends, so it is very helpful to have them ready – just in case.

‘Just in Case’ medication is usually suggested for people with a serious underlying health condition who become less well. These medicines can be used to help symptoms such as pain, breathlessness, feeling and being sick or feeling anxious and unsettled. Having ‘Just in Case’ medication to hand means symptoms can be managed at home if the need arises. Your health care team will be happy to explain this to you in more detail and answer any questions you might have.

Who provides your ‘Just in Case’ medication?

Your ‘Just in Case’ medication will usually be prescribed by your GP or another medical professional and collected from your local pharmacy, like any other prescription. If you are being discharged from hospital, you may be provided ‘Just in Case’ medication for you to bring home. The need for you to have the medication will be kept under review by your GP and clinicians supporting you in the community. They will also check if any changes need to be made to your regular medication.

Most people are reassured by knowing that the medication is available, but you do not have to agree to keep ‘Just in Case’ medication in your home. Please speak to your GP or community team if you would like to talk about this further.

Who gives you your Just in Case Medication?

In most cases the injections can only be given by a registered health professional, usually a community nurse. If you have them in the house and develop a symptom that needs an injection you, or someone who is with you, can contact the community team on 0300 125 6789, 24 hours a day.

In some circumstances, a relative, close friend or partner can be trained to give you these injections. However, they must not give you an injection without approval and training from your local health care team. Ask a member of your health care team if you would like to know more about this.

What is the Community Palliative Care Drug Chart?

The doctor or non-medical prescriber will complete a Community Palliative Care Drug Chart, so that the community clinicians giving the injection know which medication and dose is right for you. This chart will be kept in your home and also includes some general guidance for healthcare professionals about injectable medication to control your symptoms.

How do I store my ‘Just in Case’ medication?

These medicines do not need to be kept in a fridge, but should be stored in a safe place, out of the reach of children. You may be provided with a ‘Just in Case’ bag or box to keep your ‘Just in Case’ medication in.

The medicines have been prescribed for you, and should not be given to anyone else. If the medicines are not required, they should be returned to your community pharmacy. Should you have any questions, please speak to your GP or you can contact your community team on: 0300 125 678

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