Steroid Emergency Cards

A National Patient Safety Alert was issued in August 2020 regarding the introduction of a new Steroid Emergency Card to support the early recognition and treatment of adrenal crisis in adults. Community pharmacies need to implement the actions of this alert before May 13th 2021.

For Community Pharmacies the action required is-

  • To ensure they can source and supply Steroid Emergency Cards, to replace those lost by patients or which become damaged.

It is also recommended that community pharmacies should additionally issue a card if:

  • A patient requests one
  • A health professional requests a card for a patient
  • The patient has a letter from a healthcare professional, or
  • In the professional judgement of the pharmacist, the patient should receive one.

They are available from:

  • England: Community pharmacies in England can order Emergency Steroid Treatment Cards via Primary Care Support England (PCSE online)-
  • Wales: Community pharmacies in Wales can request forms by emailing
  • Scotland or any other devolved nations or private doctors/facilities: request a registration form at or email 

 The new steroid cards do not replace the blue steroid treatment card but will be issued in conjunction

  • All oral corticosteroids for periods of more than three weeks should receive a blue steroid treatment card at the outset of treatment.
  •  For patients on oral corticosteroids for three weeks or less, those receiving more than four short oral courses per year, high dose topical, nasal or inhaled steroids a card may be issued at the discretion of the pharmacist.

More Information