Suspect an adverse reaction? Yellow Card it!

Any healthcare professional can submit a Yellow Card, including students. When submitting a report about a medicine via the Yellow Card website, if your occupation is not available in our drop-down list, you can now select ‘Other healthcare professional’ from the drop-down list and provide more information in a free-text field.

Anyone can report a Yellow Card

The Yellow Card Scheme is the UK system for monitoring the safety of medicines and healthcare products to ensure that they are acceptably safe for use by patients.

Reporting to the Scheme is voluntary and relies upon the identification and reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions by healthcare professionals and patients – only a suspicion is needed to report a Yellow Card.

Patients, caregivers, and all healthcare professionals, including students, are encouraged to report any suspected adverse drug reactions to the Yellow Card Scheme. Following feedback from reporters, the reporting website has been updated so that if your occupation is not in the drop-down list, you can now select ‘Other healthcare professional’ and tell us more about your role in a free-text field.

All Yellow Card reports are systematically analysed and often result in identification of important new drug safety issues and changes to advice for healthcare professionals and patients.

What to report?

Yellow Cards can be used for reporting suspected adverse drug reactions to medicines, vaccines, herbal, or complementary products, whether self-medicated or prescribed. This includes suspected adverse drug reactions associated with misuse, overdose, medication errors, or from use of unlicensed and off-label medicines.

You should report all suspected adverse drug reactions that are:

  • serious, medically significant or result in harm. Serious events are fatal, life-threatening, a congenital abnormality, disabling or incapacitating, or resulting in hospitalisation

  • associated with newer drugs and vaccines (▼), irrespective of whether they are serious or not; the most up-to-date list of black triangle medicines is available on the MHRA website

If in doubt as to whether to report a suspected adverse drug reaction, please complete a Yellow Card. Please do not assume someone else has reported it. Your Yellow Card report makes a difference to improving patient safety

It’s quick and easy to report

You can report Yellow Cards for all medicines, medical device adverse incidents, defective medicines, counterfeit or fake medicines or medical devices, and safety concerns with e-cigarettes or their refill containers on the Yellow Card website.

You can also report suspected adverse reactions to medicines:

  • via the free Yellow Card app; download now from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store

  • through some clinical IT systems (SystmOne/Vision/MiDatabank)

  • by phone: 0800 731 6789 (freephone number, 10am to 2pm Monday-Friday)

  • using forms in the BNF, MIMS, or PAGB OTC directory

  • by downloading forms from the Yellow Card website and sending them freepost to ‘Yellow Card’

More information for healthcare professionals can be found on the MHRA website.

Article citation: Drug Safety Update volume 11 issue 9; April 2018: 3.

Published 24 April 2018