Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Quiz: Test your medication knowledge

  1 of  
Current Score:  
slide image

Over-the-counter medicines are not as effective as prescription ones.

slide image

Over-the-counter medicines are not as effective as prescription ones.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

'Over-the-counter', sometimes called OTC medicines, can be just as effective as prescription-only and they work for some people just as well as prescription drugs. 'General sales' medicines can be sold in supermarkets without the supervision of a pharmacist. These are often sold at lower doses than prescription medication and are usually for less serious conditions, like a cold, that you may not need to see a doctor for.

 

No medication is totally risk-free. However, in the UK, all medicines used to treat people must be licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and adhere to strict safety standards. You should still always read instructions carefully as OTC medicines can have side effects and interactions, just like prescription drugs.

slide image

If you miss a dose of medicine you should:

slide image

If you miss a dose of medicine you should:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The NHS advises not to double up on medicine if you miss a dose. That’s because you may risk harmful side effects from taking too much at one time. It’s usually safe to take medicine if you remember within 2 hours of your normal dose time. If you remember close to the time of your next dose, just take your next regular dose. However, in all cases, it’s best to check the leaflet included with your medicine. It will usually contain specific information on what to do. Always check with your GP or pharmacist if you are unsure of what to do.

Which of these foods can trigger reactions with certain medicines?

Which of these foods can trigger reactions with certain medicines?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Some foods can increase your body’s absorption of certain medications, making the effect more potent. Other foods slow absorption, making the medication less powerful and less effective. Reactions can range from skin rashes, nausea, headaches and dizziness to organ failure and even death, although that is rare.

 

Food interactions to watch out for include:

  • Grapefruit: Can block enzymes that process calcium channel blockers that are used to treat heart and blood pressure problems. Grapefruit can also affect some statins, used to lower cholesterol, and some cancer treatment drugs.
  • Liver, broccoli and spinach: High in vitamin K that can interfere with the blood thinner, warfarin.

Take special care with alcohol, which should also be completely avoided while taking warfarin and many other medicines.

Herbal supplements rarely interfere with prescription medications.

Herbal supplements rarely interfere with prescription medications.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Herbal and dietary supplements are increasingly popular in the UK. Many people regard them as 'natural' and therefore safe. The truth is you should always check with your GP or pharmacist before taking herbal supplements as some can have serious interactions with medicines you take. One example is St John’s Wort which impairs the anti-clotting function of the blood thinner warfarin. Research has also raised concern over the possible dangers of echinacea and gingko.

 

Herbal remedies sold under the MHRA's traditional herbal registration scheme contain product leaflets with instructions for use and warnings about interactions and side effects.

Compared to branded medicines, generic medications are usually:

Compared to branded medicines, generic medications are usually:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Branded medicines bear the name of the manufacturing pharmaceutical company. Generic medicine is named according to the active ingredient. So, a drug for erectile dysfunction is known by the brand name Viagra, but its generic name is sildenafil. Both versions have the same clinical effect. Like supermarket own-brand products, the difference is usually cost. Regulatory authorities ensure generics are equivalent to brand products in safety, quality, strength and dosage form, but they can be up to 80% cheaper. Very rarely, the branded medicine is more suitable than generic. Examples include medications for epilepsy, biological medications and modified-release products.

How much money is spent on wasted medicines by the NHS each year?

How much money is spent on wasted medicines by the NHS each year?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The Department of Health estimates that unused medicines cost the NHS around £300 million every year, including £90 million worth of unused prescription medicines being stored in people's homes. The Only Order What You Need campaign says the reasons vary, but audits have found some people are ordering and receiving medication that they don't even start to use. The campaign group estimates that the money wasted would pay for 80,906 more hip replacements or 312,175 more cataract operations.

Medication bought illegally on the internet can be:

Medication bought illegally on the internet can be:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The medicines regulator MHRA says that buying from an unregistered pharmacy website, "could mean you do not know what medicines you are getting, and you could even be damaging your health." Legitimate sites in the UK and EU have to display a special logo, and clicking on that takes you through to the regulator's site to verify their registration.

What percentage of parents know which children’s medicines contain paracetamol?

What percentage of parents know which children’s medicines contain paracetamol?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

According to a Royal Pharmaceutical Society survey only a quarter of parents know which children’s medicines contain paracetamol. There are about 95 products containing this drug on the market. The concern is that parents could accidentally overdose their children if they inadvertently give more than one dose. Recommended doses of paracetamol changed in 2011 to ensure children get correct amounts. The survey also revealed confusion about which ailments it is used for. Paracetamol is effective for pain and fever relief, but has no proven effects on coughs or sleep problems.

Inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs causes how many deaths a year?

Inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs causes how many deaths a year?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Antipsychotics are prescribed for tens of thousands of people in the UK with dementia. However, according to a government commissioned report, two thirds of these prescriptions are unnecessary. Worse still, it’s estimated their inappropriate use leads to 1,800 deaths and 1,500 strokes each year. The report concluded antipsychotics should only be prescribed when really needed and the NHS should make reducing their use for dementia a priority.

Resistance to antibiotic drugs has resulted in thousands of new cases of drug resistant:

Resistance to antibiotic drugs has resulted in thousands of new cases of drug resistant:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The World Health Organisation says growing levels of antibiotic resistance have become a serious global health threat. Resistance happens when bacteria changes so that antibiotics no longer work to fight diseases like tuberculosis, MRSA and gonorrhoea. This means people are ill for longer and have a higher risk of death. The WHO suggests three key ways to tackle resistance which includes:

  • Only using antibiotics when they are necessary and prescribed by a doctor
  • Finishing the course of antibiotics, even if you feel better
  • Never using leftover prescriptions or taking someone else’s medicine.

How many GP prescriptions in the UK may contain mistakes?

How many GP prescriptions in the UK may contain mistakes?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

According to a report published by the General Medical Council, 1 in 20 GP prescriptions may contain an error, some of them dangerous. Mistakes include wrong dosages, poor instructions and inadequate monitoring of patients on powerful drugs. Elderly people are more often affected as they may have multiple prescriptions. Children are also more affected due to miscalculated body weight. Time constraints on busy GPs are cited as partly to blame as well as complicated software and repeat prescriptions that may no longer be appropriate.

How can you help yourself to manage your medicines?

How can you help yourself to manage your medicines?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Always follow the instructions you are given regarding dosage, timing and other guidelines, such as not taking medication on an empty stomach. Even if your symptoms go away, always make sure to completely finish any course of treatment you are given, especially antibiotics. Don’t try to insist your GP gives you antibiotics for a cold. Most colds are caused by viruses, so antibiotics won’t help as they only work for bacterial infections.

How many people don’t take their medicine as they’re advised to do?

How many people don’t take their medicine as they’re advised to do?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Only half of people prescribed medicine take it as they should, according to the World Health Organisation. The number holds true across the globe and compliance rates are even lower in some developing countries. This failure isn’t just wasteful, it’s also harmful. It can contribute to the spread of infection, increase antibiotic resistance and cause unnecessary illness and deaths. The WHO is calling for updated clinical guidelines, better education and information, and better monitoring of medicine usage.

Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
results image

Well done. You’re an ace when it comes to medication.

Not too bad, but we prescribe another attempt for a better score.

Try again: Read the fine print on medicines and give it another go.

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman coughing
Home remedies for coughing
smiling baby
Causes and remedies
man holding sore neck
16 tips when you have a lot of weight to lose
mother and child
Caring for a baby with cows' milk allergy
woman holding mouth
What causes sensitive teeth?
man holding sore neck
8 signs you're headed for menopause
man holding sore neck
The best time to do everything
bain illustration
Best foods for your brain
woman doing situps
7 most effective exercises
avacado on whole wheat crackers
Plenty to choose from
egg in cup
Surprising things that can harm your liver