Home Public Health The 5 Moments for Medication Safety

The 5 Moments for Medication Safety are the key moments where action by the patient or caregiver can greatly reduce the risk of harm associated with the use of their medication/s. Each moment includes 5 critical questions. Some are self-reflective for the patient and some require support from a health professional to be answered and reflected upon correctly.

For patients, families and caregivers

Pay attention to these 5 MOMENTS when using medication/s. ASK these QUESTIONS and FIND the ANSWERS with the help of a health care professional whenever you:

  • visit a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or dentist
  • visit a primary health care facility or pharmacy
  • are admitted to and discharged from a health care facility
  • are referred to another health care facility
  • are transferred to another health care facility
  • receive treatment and care at home.

Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030

For health professionals

Promote patient engagement by introducing this tool to your patients, their families and caregivers and supporting them in answering the questions.


  1. Starting a medication
  2. Taking my medication
  3. Adding a medication
  4. Reviewing my medication
  5. Stopping my medication

Starting a medication

  • What is the name of this medication and what is it for?
  • What are the risks and possible side-effects?
  • Is there another way of treating my condition?
  • Have I told my health professional about my allergies and other health conditions?
  • How should I store this medication?

Taking my medication

  • When should I take this medication and how much should I take each time?
  • How should I take the medication?
  • Is there anything related to food and drink that I should know while taking this medication?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?
  • What should I do if I have side-effects?

Adding a medication

  • Do I really need any other medication?
  • Have I told my health professional about the medications I am already taking?
  • Can this medication interact with my other medications?
  • What should I do if I suspect an interaction?
  • Will I be able to manage multiple medications correctly?

Reviewing my medication

  • Do I keep a list of all my medications?
  • How long should I take each medication?
  • Am I taking any medications I no longer need?
  • Does a health professional check my medications regularly?
  • How often should my medications be reviewed?

Stopping my medication

  • When should I stop each medication?
  • Should any of my medications not be stopped suddenly?
  • What should I do if I run out of medication?
  • If I have to stop my medication due to an unwanted effect, where should I report this?
  • What should I do with leftover or expired medications?

DOWNLOAD WHO Tool on the 5 Moments for Medication Safety

World Patient Safety Day 2022: Medication without harm

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