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Drugs for the doctor's bag: 1 - Adults

Abstract

Many GPs have given up responsibility for out-of-hours services, as these are delivered by providers commissioned by primary care trusts.5 However, there is still a need for many GPs to carry a range of medicines for use in acute situations when on home visits. The choice of what to include in the GP's bag is determined by the medical conditions likely to be met; the medicines the GP is confident in using; the storage requirements, shelf-life and costs of such treatments; the extent of ambulance paramedic cover; the proximity of the nearest hospital; and the availability of a 24-hour pharmacy. Here we suggest a list of medicines suitable for the GP to take on home visits for use in an emergency or for the acute treatment of adult patients, updating our previous advice.24 A later article will cover treatment for children.* Whenever a medicine is first mentioned, our suggested formulation is included in brackets. The intention is not to imply that every doctor must carry every drug mentioned. Instead, we aim to highlight some of the key treatments and suggest choices in some of the more common clinical scenarios that GPs may have to deal with in everyday practice.

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