Occasional medicine users don’t get full benefit of medication

Pills And WaterRecent survey findings have revealed that occasional users of medicines — including prescription, over-the-counter, and alternative or complementary forms of medicines — are potentially not getting the full benefits from their medicines, compared to people who take medicines more often.

The survey (conducted for NPS MedicineWise by Galaxy Research) showed people who take medicines less often or who take fewer medicines are more likely to stop a course of medicine early without speaking to the health professional that prescribed or recommended the medicine to them, and less likely to follow instructions relating to their medicines

Furthermore, nearly 1 in 6 people (15%) don’t take their medicine as instructed, this is more common in those who are younger, those who take medicines less than daily, and those who take fewer medicines.


Why you should take your medicine

Medicines (whether short-term or long-term) are important in treating illnesses and sometimes preventing them, so you need to use them correctly to avoid further health complications.

Often medications are used for a short time, but there are some cases where your doctor may want you to keep taking medication for a longer period of time.

NPS MedicineWise medical adviser Dr Jeannie Yoo says that sometimes good reasons to stop taking a medicine, before stopping it’s best to first speak with a health professional such as a doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

“Taking your medicine as instructed, including taking the right dose at the right time, is also really important to help you improve your health outcomes,” she says.

stay safe with OTC medications“‘Even though you might be feeling better, if you don’t feel a medicine is helping you it’s always a good idea to speak to health professionals first to check that it is safe to stop the medicine. For example, some regular medicines need to be stopped slowly or to be replaced by another medicine to prevent serious effects on your health,” says Dr Yoo.

How to be medicinewise

To ensure your safety, and it’s important to be medicinewise. This means:

  • Understanding what your medicine is for
  • Reading the labels and packaging of your medicines carefully
  • Understanding how and when to take your medicine
  • Always following instructions from your health professional
  • Never sharing your medicine with anyone else, and ensuring young children can’t access it.

Equipping yourself with the NPS Medicine Wise MedicineList+ smartphone app (with its medicine reminders and links to medicines information) can help you manage your medicines safely and wisely.

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) or visit www.nps.org.au.

Prepared from a media release from NPS Medicinewise 24 August, 2016


Tradies urged to take care

Construction workers positioning cement formwork framesAugust signals the annual Tradies National Health Month. It’s an opportunity to draw attention to the health of all of Australia’s tradies, who continue to have the poorest health and safety conditions of all workers across all sectors.

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) leads Tradies National Health Month to educate tradies to keep a check on their safety, health and well being.


Tradies are most at risk

According to Safe Work Australia, tradies have among the highest serious injury and disease compensation claims in Australia. Labourers, technicians, and machinery operators and drivers are among the top four occupations when it comes to number of serious injury claims.

The majority of serious claims are from injuries and musculoskeletal disorders, including traumatic joint, ligament, muscle and tendon injuries. While backs still present the highest proportion of body stress injury claims, other body parts affected include upper limbs, lower legs, hips, the abdomen and the pelvic region.

Research also shows tradespersons, labourers and workers across the agricultural and construction industries have high risks of chronic health conditions.


Greater awareness needed

It is vital tradies become more aware and active in improving their health and safety. Early injury intervention and treatment through evidence-based care, including physiotherapy, must be part of the solution to prolong working careers, reduce time away from work and improve general well being.

Employers, peak bodies and government are encouraged to acknowledge the significant role they play in ensuring their workers are fit-for-work, and offer appropriate support when it comes to preventative health measures


Tips for preventing injury

The APA offer the following tips to prevent tradies injuring themselves at work:

  • ensure tasks are risk assessed regularly to reduce the strain
  • check the equipment you are using is adequate, easily handled and fit for purpose
  • use good posture and technique when handling objects eg: keep your chest up where possible
  • keep your core strong by exercising regularly
  • keep your flexibility by doing 5–10 minutes of stretching every morning
  • maintain quality sleep and nutrition to ensure you have the energy to remain well, alert and safe throughout the day.

For further information, or to find out how you can be involved, visit Tradies National Health Month visit www.tradieshealth.com.au