Information for the public
Medicines prescribed in advance ('just in case' medicines)
Medicines are sometimes prescribed in advance for symptoms that might happen in the future. These medicines are often called 'just in case' medicines and may be provided in a specially marked container called a 'just in case' box. Providing medicines in advance means that there is no delay in getting medicines that might be needed quickly to help with symptoms. This may be particularly important for people who are not in hospital.
'Just in case' medicines should be prescribed individually for a person's needs. When deciding to prescribe any medicines in advance, a number of things should be taken into account, such as whether there are likely to be any new or changing symptoms, any possible risks and benefits of medicines, and whether medicine is likely to be needed urgently. Where the person is being cared for and how long it would take to get medicines to them should also be considered.
Before 'just in case' medicine is given, checks should be carried out to make sure that the medicine is still the right type for the person's symptoms. After they are taken, checks should be carried out at least once a day to see if their symptoms are improving or if there are any side effects.