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Medication safety

Medication incident reports are those which actually caused harm or had the potential to cause harm involving an error in the process of prescribing, dispensing, preparing, administering, monitoring or providing medicines advice.


Over 90 per cent of incidents reported to the NRLS are associated with no harm or low harm.


The most frequently reported types of medication incidents involve:

  • wrong dose

  • omitted or delayed medicines

  • wrong medicine


Incident reports concerning side effects of medicines and defective products should be sent to the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).



Use the form below to search for resources on medication safety.

TitleIssue dateType
Potassium solutions: risks to patients from errors occurring during intravenous...31 October 2002Alert
Ensuring safer practice with Repevax and Revaxis vaccines01 May 2004Alert
High dose morphine and diamorphine injections25 May 2006Alert
Improving compliance with oral methotrexate guidelines01 June 2006Alert
Design for patient safety: a guide to the design of the dispensing environment01 January 2007Guidance
Design for patient safety: A guide to the graphic design of medication...01 January 2007Guidance
Design for patient safety: a guide to the design of dispensed medicines01 January 2007Guidance
Patient Safety Observatory Report 4: Safety in doses01 January 2007Data report
Patient Safety Bulletin | January 200710 January 2007Guidance
Quarterly Data Summary Issue 7: Learning from reporting - medication incidents...01 February 2007Data report
Actions that can make anticoagulant therapy safer: Work competences01 March 2007Alert
Actions that can make anticoagulant therapy safer: Alert and other information28 March 2007Alert
Epidural injections and infusions28 March 2007Alert
Promoting safer use of injectable medicines28 March 2007Alert
Promoting safer measurement and administration of liquid medicines via oral and...28 March 2007Alert
Reducing the risk of hyponatraemia when administering intravenous infusions to...28 March 2007Alert
Actions that can make oral anticoagulant therapy safer: Information for...28 March 2007Alert
Risk of confusion between cytarabine and liposomal cytarabine (Depocyte)18 June 2007Alert
Non-lipid and lipid formulations of injectable amphotericin03 September 2007Alert
Fire hazard with paraffin-based skin products26 November 2007Alert
NICE NPSA medicines reconciliation adults hospital01 December 2007Alert
Oral anti-cancer medicines: risks of incorrect dosing22 January 2008Alert
Intravenous Heparin Flush Solutions24 April 2008Alert
Design for patient safety: a guide to the labelling and packaging of injectable...01 May 2008Guidance
Reducing dosing errors with opioid medicines04 July 2008Alert
Infusions and sampling from arterial lines Rapid Response Report28 July 2008Alert
Vinca alkaloid minibags (adult|adolescent units)11 August 2008Alert
Risk of omitting Hib when administering Infanrix-IPB+Hib12 October 2008Alert
Quarterly Data Summary Issue 10: Learning from reporting - vaccination...01 November 2008Data report
Reducing risk of overdose with midazolam injection in adults09 December 2008Alert