List your medicines

The results of a YouGov Galaxy poll of 1037 adults conducted in July 2019 for NPS MedicineWise revealed that of the respondents (527) who take two or more medicines regularly, 40 per cent don’t keep a list of any medicines they are taking.  

The survey also revealed that only 31 per cent keep a list of all of their medicines (prescription, over-the-counter, complementary); 26 per cent keep a list of their prescription medicines; and three per cent keep a list of some of their prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines. 

“Keeping track of all your medicines can help reduce the risk of medicine interactions and double-ups, and can help you get the most out of your medicines, safely,” said NPS MedicineWise CEO and pharmacist Steve Morris. 

Of the people who do keep a list of their medicines, the survey showed that while they record a lot of information, they still miss some important points, particularly around active ingredients. 

Survey results revealed that of the people who record medicine information, only one in five (22 per cent) said they record the active ingredient of the medicine, while only 17 per cent said they record the date the medicine started. 

Only 48 per cent of respondents were found to record the brand name; 63 per cent record information on the dose and instructions on how to take medication; and only 52 per cent record the reason for taking the medicine. 

“A medicines list needs to include medicines that have been prescribed by a health professional, as well as anything else you take for your health,” advised Mr Morris. “This includes vitamins and herbal supplements as these are also considered medicines.”

According to Mr Morris, detailed medicine lists may help reduce “the risk of medicine interactions” and can assist healthcare providers when they review medicines.  

Mr Morris added: “Using an NPS MedicineWise Medicines List or our free MedicineWise app are easy ways to keep this record of everything you are taking.” 

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