25 July 2014: Pharmacists today highlighted the growing trend of people not reading the information leaflets and ignoring the warning messages on medicine labels. According to the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), pharmacists are extremely concerned that patients are putting themselves at risk by ignoring important warning messages on medicine labels, such as "DO NOT drink Alcohol when taking this medication" or "This medicine may make you sleepy. If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines".
Pharmacist and Honorary Treasurer of the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), Bernard Duggan, said, "Ignoring the warning messages on a medicine is like ignoring warning signs on the road – it can result in potentially fatal consequences and is just not worth the risk. It is vitally important that people read and stick to the instructions supplied with their medicines. If anyone has any concerns or is unsure about taking a medicine, they should ask their pharmacist first before taking it. Ignoring warnings can result in accidents, liver failure, stomach perforation or a serious allergic reaction."
The warning by pharmacists also applies to over-the-counter and herbal medicines.
Pharmacists also appealed to people to store medicines well out of the reach of children, a warning they say which is "often unobserved".
For further information: Jim Curran, Director of Communications and Strategy, IPU, Ph: 086 2640469.