Adult symptomatic relief policy

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This policy is intended to support the treatment of minor illness at the discretion of nursing staff. However minor illness may indicate serious disease and therefore each patient should be medically assessed before the policy is prescribed. The full policy may be found here.

Consider the following issues

  • Prescribe as ‘Symptomatic Relief Policy’ on the medicine prescription sheet
  • For exceptions to the symptomatic relief policy, exclude these at the time of prescribing by writing e.g. ‘Symptomatic Relief Policy, except paracetamol.’ on the prescription sheet
  • Medication may only be administered under the circumstances described within the Policy, noting the frequency, maximum doses and contra-indications
  • The administering nurse must read the Policy and be familiar with all the indications and contraindications of the items contained within it
  • The administering nurse must be fully aware of the patient’s diagnosis, recent medical history, current health status and any medical alerts
  • For the NRT exemption (Appendix 1) prescribe ‘Symptomatic Relief Policy’ as soon as possible after the admission
  • Any symptoms experienced by patients, which are not relieved by the product administered from the Symptomatic Relief Policy, must be further assessed and medical opinion sought
  • Carefully consideration should be given to the use of this policy for patients prescribed clozapine
  • Clozapine induced constipation should NOT be treated under the symptomatic relief policy
Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 29 August 2019

Next review: 30 June 2022

Author(s): PMG-MH

Version: 4

Approved By: Mental Health Quality & Clinical Governance Group

Reviewer Name(s): Lead Clinical Pharmacist, Clinical Effectiveness Pharmacist