Expert advice

Do I need a prescription to administer medicines in life-threatening situations?

What you need to know about practising safely within the law, local policy and your own competence

What you need to know about practising safely within the law, local policy and your own competence

The administration of medicines requires all practitioners to remain within their competence while adhering to their professional standards and the law.

If you are confident and competent to administer life-saving medication, such as adrenaline to a patient in anaphylactic shock, this can be done without a prescription and your actions are protected by law under regulation 238 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.

This allows specific injectable prescription-only medicines to be administered for the purposes of saving life in an emergency and isn’t limited to registered healthcare staff – it covers anyone who needs to administer these medicines, including school teachers, youth workers and family members who can administer them if


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