Store and manage your medicines wisely in bushfire conditions Be Medicinewise week 2013

18 October 2013 As Be Medicinewise Week comes to an end NPS MedicineWise is reminding people in bushfire and smoke affected areas to remember to store and manage their medicines wisely despite the emergency conditions.

NPS MedicineWise CEO Dr Lynn Weekes says that anyone who might need to be away from their home unexpectedly should put their regular medicines at the top of their list of things to pack.

"With the thick smoke cover over much of NSW, people with asthma should take particular care to keep their reliever medication with them at all times," she said.

"Anyone who takes a regular medicine should also make sure they bring a supply with them if they need to evacuate from their home or are likely to be caught out by closed roads, and also consider packing any repeat prescriptions in case they need additional supplies while away from home.

"With the fluctuating temperatures it's also important to store your medicines wisely according to the instructions for that particular medicine.”

As a general rule, medicines should be kept in a cool dark place and kept out of direct sunlight (for example don't leave them on the car dashboard), but not stored in the fridge unless directed. Check the packaging or label to find out how you need to store your medicines.

Dr Weekes also urges people who take regular medication — whether prescription or non-prescription — to take note of the active ingredient of the medicine in case they need to buy additional supplies at a different pharmacy from their regular one.

“And if you have any questions about your prescription, over-the-counter, or complementary medicines, ask your health professional or call the NPS Medicines Line,” she says.

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) . Hours of operation are Monday–Friday 9am–5pm AEST (excluding public holidays).

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Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

If you are a journalist seeking comment on a story or more information on any of our programs or campaigns please contact one of our media advisers: Stephanie Childs on 02 8217 8667 or Erin Jardine on 02 8217 8733 (during office hours) or call the NPS MedicineWise media phone on 0419 618 365 (for urgent media requests outside of office hours). If your enquiry is not urgent you can also send us an email.