Know it's a medicine

Medicines are any substances that are meant to change the way your body deals with illness or injury or to maintain your health and wellbeing.

A lot of people don’t realise that complementary medicines, such as herbal remedies, vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements, are all medicines too.

Medicines come in many forms

This includes tablets, liquids, inhalers, drops, patches, creams, lotions, pessaries, suppositories and injections. Some are taken by mouth, while others are applied to parts of the body.

Medicines don't just come from a pharmacy

Some medicines you get from the pharmacist with a prescription from a doctor or other health professional. Other medicines you get from the pharmacist without a prescription. You can also get some medicines from supermarkets, health food shops, herbalists, naturopaths and the internet.

Different medicines do different things

Some are meant to treat illnesses or injuries. Some are meant to prevent illnesses or maintain health and wellbeing. Others are meant to ease the problems caused by an illness or injury.

Top 5 medicinewise questions when thinking of starting a medicine

  • Why do I need this medicine?
  • What are my medicine and non-medicine options?
  • What are the benefits and risks of my treatment options?
  • Is this treatment option suitable for me?
  • Where can I find trusted information?