Are you being medicinewise? Do you take medicines correctly? How do you keep track of what you’re taking? Do you store medicines safely? What do you do with unwanted medicines?
Medicinewise families is the theme of Be Medicinewise Week 2018, running from 20–26 August. NPS MedicineWise hosts this annual campaign to encourage Australian families to make good decisions about medicines, medical tests and other health choices.
Did you know an estimated nine million* people in Australia take a prescribed medicine every day? Also, millions of Australians are taking over-the-counter and complementary medicines.
With medicines being a part of so many people’s lives, it’s critical we have access to all the information we need about the medicines we’re taking, including why we’re taking them and how to take them correctly.
Here are five steps to staying medicinewise:
1. Ask questions to get the information you need about medicines and make better-informed decisions. Choosing Wisely Australia has five questions you can ask your doctor if a medicine is recommended to you.
2. Know it’s a medicine. Medicines don’t just come on prescription – they include over-the-counter medicines from a pharmacy, supermarket or other store, as well as herbal remedies, vitamins and other supplements.
3. Know the active ingredient. Active ingredients are what make your medicines work. If your pharmacist offers you an alternative brand of prescription medicine with the same active ingredient, you can be sure it will work the same way as your usual medicine.
4. Always follow instructions from your doctor or pharmacist and read the labels and packaging of your medicines carefully.
5. Keep track of all your medicines. Keep a current list of your medicines to take on visits to your doctor, pharmacist or to the hospital, or use our MedicineWise app. The MedicineWise App is free and available to download from the App store and Google play.
More information on how to be medicinewise is available here.
*YouGov Galaxy Poll of adult Australians conducted in July 2018 for NPS MedicineWise.