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Review Your Medicines in Movember

NPS MedicineWise is advising men to take stock of their health this Movember and make sure they are keeping medicines in working order by thinking of them as tools.

Medicines are a lot like tools — each has a specific job, they should be handled with care and need to be used correctly.

Ask for a medicines review

Just as it is important to check your tools every so often for blunt edges, loose fixtures or rust spots, it’s a good idea to have your medicines reviewed from time to time by your doctor or pharmacist. During a medicines review, your health professional will look at each of your medicines and discuss them with you to make sure you’re getting the best out of them. They will also consider whether any changes could be made that would improve your health and make it easier for you to manage your medicines.

Tell your health professional about all the medicines you are taking. This includes:

  • prescription medicines
  • non-prescription medicines from a pharmacy, supermarket, other store or the internet
  • complementary medicines, such as herbal remedies, vitamin and mineral supplements.

Medicines should be reviewed every 6 to 12 months, but you can ask for a medicines review at any time — especially

if your medicines, health, or healthcare services change. You and your doctor can agree on a timeframe most suitable

for your needs.

Store medicines correctly

Heat and moisture are not ideal for tools, and they can also damage most medicines. NPS MedicineWise advises:

  • Don’t store medicines in the bathroom or near a sink, as steam and water can affect them.
  • Don’t leave your medicines in the car as they can heat up or become sun-damaged.
  • Always keep your medicines out of reach of children.

Keep a medicines list

If you take medicines now is a good time to start a medicines list. A medicines list allows you to record all your medicines, the reason you are using the medicine and the dose. Also, the free NPS MedicineWise smartphone app, MedicineList+, is a good way to track your medicines.

NPS MedicineWise Clinical Adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says, “As the Movember movement again raises awareness of the health issues facing men, it’s a great time for health professionals to encourage their male patients to be medicinewise and take stock of their medicines.”

“And for male patients, you can be medicinewise and ask for a medicines review this Movember, as well as checking how your medicines are stored.”

This Movember men can find discover the 5 steps to being medicinewise at www.nps.org.au/medicinewise. To subscribe to Medicinewise Living visit the NPS MedicineWise website.

For more information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and minerals) from a health professional, call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) for the cost of a local call (calls from mobiles may cost more). Hours of operation are Monday–Friday 9am–5pm AEST (excluding public holidays).