Search tips

MedicineWise websites contain a mix of items, including articles on specific medications and conditions, health advice, media releases, jobs, Consumer Medicine Information, medical tests and a range of other health-related information.  The search engine looks for search words in the title, description (summary) and metadata keywords (indexing terms) as well as the full text of all content on this site and two other NPS MedicineWise websites; Choosing Wisely Australia and Australian Prescriber.

Choosing search terms

Start typing in the Search box. After the second letter, the search box will provide suggestions based on keywords on our site. You may select one of these with a mouse click or by using the down arrow key, then pressing Enter. If the term you are searching for is not on the list, you will need to type it in full and press Enter.

Search results display

Search results are displayed in order of relevance, ten results per screen. The total number of results found is shown at the top of the screen. Where there are more than ten items, you can jump to the next set of ten results by clicking the numbered boxes at the bottom of the list.

The search results screen also displays the following feature for each item:

  • a title – this links you to the associated page
  • the type of item; whether it is a type of publication, a media release, or a description of a medicine or condition
  • if the found item is intended for health professionals, this will be indicated in green text
  • the year that the item was last updated
  • a few lines of text from the top of the item. If these include your search term, it will appear in bold.

The list of results may include items which do not mention the search term specifically but contain similar terms which are closely related to it; for instance a search for ‘aspirin’ may bring up an article on Disprin.

If you misspell a word or phrase the search system may be able to offer you suggestions for the correct spelling. For instance, if you type in ‘maesles’ it will ask ‘Did you mean: measles?’. Click on the correct term to repeat your search using that term.

If you need more control over your search options, open the Advanced search page by selecting the ‘Advanced search’ link below the search box. You can also go straight to the Advanced search page at any time with the address

Related searches

If the term you typed is included in our thesaurus, a list of related searches is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Suggested options include broader terms, related terms and narrower terms. Select the suggested term to perform a new search on that term.

Advanced Search

You can control your search of the NPS MedicineWise website in two ways.

Boolean text searching

The upper panel on the Advanced search page allows you to set search options as follows:

  • All of these words – searches for items containing all of the words you type
  • This exact phrase – searches for items containing the exact word or phrase you type
  • Any of these words – searches for items containing any of the words in the list or phrase that you type
  • None of these words – searches for items that don’t contain any of the words you type

These can be used in combination. For example, to find out about painkillers that don’t contain opiates, you could search for ‘Any of these words’ = ‘painkiller’ and ‘None of these words’ = ‘opiate’.

Filtering results

An Advanced search can also be filtered by audience type, item type and/or publication year by selecting the appropriate check boxes in the lower panel. This works in combination with the settings in the upper panel to give you complete control over your search settings.

You can select several check boxes within each category. For instance, you could limit your search to information about medicines and conditions intended for health professionals and published between 2011 and 2014. This could then be further refined by adding conditions in the top panel.

When you have completed the Advanced search settings, press Enter, or select the Search button under the lower panel to carry out your search. Note that a complex search may take longer to carry out than a simple keyword search.

No luck?

If you cannot find the information you need:

  • for any questions about a medicine, phone our pharmacists at NPS Medicines Line on 1300 633 424. You can ring Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time
  • for all other queries contact us, and we will answer your query.