Mental health medicines result in the highest number of calls to NPS Medicines Line, suggesting that people taking these medicines and their carers have a lot of questions about their medicines. Being medicinewise will help you make better decisions for you and those you care for, and includes:
- Knowing the right questions to ask your health professionals
- Obtaining trusted information
- Talking openly with your health professional and being an active partner
- Keeping an up-to-date medicines list.
- What is the medicine for?
- What is the active ingredient?
- How do I take or use this medicine correctly?
- What are the possible side effects and what can I do about them?
- What should or shouldn’t I do while taking this medicine?
What if I am offered a different brand? The active ingredients are what make your medicines work. If your pharmacist offers you an alternative brand of a prescription medicine you can be sure it will work the same way as your usual medicine. For particular medicines and for some individuals, substitution is not recommended. Remember it’s your choice. You may choose an alternative brand of medicine or stay with your prescribed or usual brand. Check with your pharmacist or doctor if you are not sure.
Where can I find out more? NPS MedicineWise has information and resources on a variety of medicine related topics, all of which can be downloaded or ordered from www.nps.org.au . Many of the resources are available in up to 10 languages.
The NPS Medicines List helps you to keep an up–to-date record of all medicines you are taking, so you can share it with your health professionals and avoid medicine mix ups.
The Medimate resource contains information about what a medicine is, the risks and benefits; and important questions to ask doctor or pharmacist. You will also find more about generic medicines and your brand choices.
NPS Medicines Line can provide information or answer your questions about medicines, for example how to take the medicine, possible side effects or interactions with other medicines.
Call 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm AEDT, for the cost of a local call (calls from mobiles may cost more).
NPS MedicineWise is an independent, not-for-profit, evidence based organisation that aims for a medicinewise Australia through enabling better decisions about medicines and medical tests.
NPS MedicineWise is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health of Ageing.