There are a lot of resources available to help you use your medicines safely and effectively. Below are some resources to help you:
learn more about your medicines,
use your medicines safely, and
to make decisions about what medicines are right for you.
Asking questions about your medicines
It can be hard to decide what medicines are right for you and to learn how to take them safely. You might find it helpful to ask your doctor or your pharmacist some questions about any medicines they recommend for you. You can find a list of questions to ask before taking a medicine on the Healthdirect website. Asking questions can help you take your medicines safely and effectively.
If you need medical advice or second opinions about your medicines, contact a health care professional. Healthdirect’s Service Finder can help you find a health care professional to meet your needs.
Health Direct has a wide range of resources to help you understand and use medicines safely. You can also search for a medicine by brand name or active ingredient, using the ‘Medicines’ search function. Information available about medicines includes:
important information about how your medicine works
a list of possible side effects, how serious these are and what to do if you experience them; and
other essential safety information about your medicine
Keeping track of your medicines
It is important to keep track of what you are taking and when and whether you have taken them. There are lots of ways to keep track, including:
apps like Medicinewise, or an app recommended by your pharmacy,
getting your pharmacist to put your medicines in a Webster-pak,
using a device like a TabTimer to set reminders and dispense your medication,
A pharmacist can review your medicines at home or in the pharmacy if you take over five medicines or have had a recent major health event, like going to hospital. A review in the pharmacy is called a MedsCheck and is usually done by appointment. Talk to your local pharmacist to book.
A Home Medicines Review is where a pharmacist comes you your home and talks to you and your family about whether your medicines are working with you and whether you are taking them correctly. This can involve other members of your care team, like nurses and support workers. You can ask your GP to refer you for a review.
To get advice about a medicine, you can call Medicines Line from anywhere in Australia, on 1300 633 424 between 9am and 5pm (AEST) for the cost of a local call. Medicines Line gives consumers with information on a range of medicines, including prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamin and mineral). Information provided by Medicines Line includes:
referrals to reliable services and support organisations, e.g. support organisations for people with your health condition.
When something goes wrong with your medicine
Reporting a problem related to your medicine can help improve safety for everybody. To report a problem or to get advice when something goes wrong with a medicine, you can contact the Adverse Medicines Event Line on 1300 134 237 between 9am and 5pm (AEST) for the cost of a local call.