Drug history and allergies

Identify all medications, both prescribed and self-administered, including herbal preparations. Patients will often forget about the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) unless specifically asked. The incidence of use of medications rises with age and many of these drugs have important interactions with anaesthetics. A current British National Formulary (BNF), or the BNF website, should be consulted for lists of the more common and important ones. Allergies to drugs, topical preparations (e.g. iodine), adhesive dressings and foodstuffs should be noted.

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