Report a problem with a medicine or medical device

Last updated: 2 March 2020

If you experience side effects with a medicine or a fault with a medical device, you should tell a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

The healthcare professional could be your own GP, a pharmacist or a nurse. They could be working in a hospital ward or your local GP practice.

If you paid for the item at your local pharmacy or another shop, you should return it as soon as possible. You should also report the problem to the pharmacist or shop manager.

When you report a problem, this allows the Medicines Healthcare and products Regulatory Agency to investigate it.

Reporting problems

Healthcare professionals have a duty to report problems with medicines or medical devices.

You can ask them to make a report for you.

You can also report problems yourself through the Yellow Card website. You can use this website to report a problem with a:

You can also use the Yellow Card app to report a problem. You can download this app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

The MHRA make sure medicines and medical devices meet safety and quality standards.

They also make sure medicines and devices do what they're supposed to do.

The MHRA also run the UK Yellow Card Scheme and website.

The UK Yellow Card Scheme

The UK Yellow Card Scheme collects information on suspected problems or incidents involving:

  • side effects
  • medical devices
  • medicines that health care professions feel are not of an acceptable quality
  • counterfeit or fake medicines or medical devices
  • safety concerns for e-cigarettes or their refill containers (e-liquids)

What you can report

You can report problems with all medicines, including:

  • vaccines
  • herbal medicines
  • homeopathic remedies

You can also report problems with all medical devices available in UK. This includes e-cigarettes and their refills.

Examples of problems you can report

You could experience different problems when using a medicine, for example side effects.

All medicines can cause side effects. Any side effects reported are looked at to find unknown safety issues. To do this the MHRA look at different types of information for example, data from clinical trials.

Medical devices could injure or almost injure someone because:

  • of unclear labelling or instructions
  • they're broken
  • someone is misusing them

You could also think a medicine or medical device is fake or counterfeit.