Five reasons to have your medicines reviewed
More than 140,000 Australians have to go to hospital every year with problems caused by their medicines.
But almost seven out of ten of these cases could have been avoided, according to NPS MedicineWise, a non-profit organisation that promotes the appropriate use of medicines.
Older people are at most risk, but any Australian or their carer can ask their GP to refer them to a pharmacist for a government-funded Home Medicines Review.
Here are five reasons to ask for a review for yourself (or someone you take care of):
- You take more than five medicines a day;
- You have recently been in hospital;
- You are worried about side-effects or have other concerns;
- You are confused about your medicines; or
- You sometimes forget to take your medicines.
If your GP decides that you need a review, your pharmacist will visit you at home and write a report for your GP. The GP will then give you a medication management plan that should be shared with all your healthcare providers.
During your home visit, your pharmacist will speak to you about all the medicines you are taking, including those prescribed by a doctor, those you buy over the counter and any vitamins, supplements or herbal remedies you take.
Your pharmacist will show you how to store your medicines correctly and may suggest ways to remember to take your medicines at the right time.
The visit is also an opportunity for your pharmacist to show you how to use devices such as inhalers and blood pressure monitors.