Reading Medicines Information Leaflets

Please note, this page is printable by selecting the normal print options on your computer.

Milton Keynes ECLO Service

Do you like to have and know all the information about your prescribed medicine?

Are you struggling to manage this because the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is in small, faint or coloured print?

Do you know about – ‘X-PIL online’ or the ‘RNIB Medicines Information Line’?

‘X-PIL online’

The X-PIL website ensures that the patient information leaflets (PILs) supplied with medicines are accessible to everyone. It is a leading and reliable source of up to date information about UK medicines, which are supplied and regularly updated by UK pharmaceutical companies. The PILs can be viewed in different font sizes and have been designed to operate with screen reading systems.

Medicines can be searched for by their name, pharmaceutical company, PL or EU number or the alphabetical list. New ones are being added all the time. X-PIL complements the ‘electronic
Medicines Compendium’ (eMC), which is also widely used, though is not designed to work with screen reading system.

‘RNIB Medicines Information Line’
Tel: 0800 198 5000

This automated service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free to use. You can choose to speak to a person at any point during your call. The RNIB Medicines Information Line allows you to listen to and/or request PIL’s in the following formats:

• large or clear print
• audio CD
• Braille

When you call, you will be asked for:
• the medicine’s name
• the medicine’s product code number. This may also be known as the licence number or marketing authorising number. The number is usually 8 or 9 digits long and may have a PL or EU in front of it.

The product code number can be found in places such as:
• the outer packaging of the medicine i.e. the box,
• the bottom of the PIL leaflet, or
• the top of the leaflet regarding the medicine on the X-PIL website.

If you are not sure or can’t find the product code number ask your pharmacist, a sighted friend or the RNIB to help you find this number. The X-PIL website is managed by Datapharm Communications Ltd. All PILs are supplied and regularly updated by UK pharmaceutical companies.