HCCA is committed to supporting you to use medicines safely and effectively. There are a lot of resources available 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.
NPS Medicinewise works with health consumers and health professionals around Australia to promote the safe use of medicines. NPS has a wide range of resources to help you understand and use medicines safely.
NPS Medicinewise provides a ‘Medicines Finder’ search function. This can help you find out more about your current medicines, or when you are considering a new medicine. The ‘Medicines Finder’ has:
- 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.
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:
- how to take your medicines
- possible side effects
- interactions with other medicines
- medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- medicines for children
- storage of medicines
- how to find Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) for your prescription medicines
- 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.
The Adverse Medicine Events Line:
- Gives consumers with a way to report when things have gone wrong with medicines
- Gives consumers advice about medicine safety
- Ensures that problems with your medicines are taken seriously.
You can help improve safety for everybody by calling the Adverse Medicines Event Line to tell them if you have experienced a problem related to your medicines.
In an emergency
Please remember that these services are not for emergencies.
- In an emergency call 000 for urgent medical help
- If you have concerns about an overdose or suspected poisoning, call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 any time