How to fill in your Medicines List

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Gather all your medicines.

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Clearly write the relevant information for each medicine on the list.

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Take your list and all your medicines to your doctor or pharmacist. They can check your list or help fill it out.

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Update your list whenever there is a change in your medicines.

Check with your health professional if you can't find the information you need or you are not sure how to fill in any part of the Medicines List.

What information should I include?

List all the medicines you are taking

Include ALL the medicines you are currently taking on your medicines list including:

  • prescription medicines
  • non-prescription medicines that you buy over the counter from a pharmacy or supermarket
  • complementary medicines, such as herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals.

List all forms of your medicines, for example, tablets, liquids, inhalers, drops, patches, creams, suppositories, and injections.

Remember to also include medicines you only take occasionally.

Active ingredient and brand name

Most medicines have two names: the active ingredient (e.g. paracetamol) and the brand name (e.g. Parese). The active ingredient is the chemical in the medicine that makes it work. The brand name is the name given to the medicine by its manufacturer. Some medicines have more than one active ingredient. Include the brand name and all the active ingredients (if possible) for all your medicines.

Find out more about active ingredients and brand names.

Example medicine packet

Click image for a 3D version of this packet (requires Flash).

Example pain reliever packet
Note: This is a fictitious product and all directions on the packaging are an example only. This product does not imply Therapeutic Goods Association approval and is purely for educational purposes regarding medicines use.

The strength of your medicines

The strength of your medicine is how much of the active ingredient your medicine contains. This information can usually be found on the label on your medicine label or packaging (e.g. in the image, each capsule of Parese contains 500 mg of paracetamol).

How much, and when to take your medicines

The dose of your medicines and any instructions about how, and how often to take your medicine may be on the other side of the packaging containing your medicines. If you use a medication organiser (e.g. Webster-pak) the dose information for your medicines may be on the back of it.

If you are unsure of how much, or when, to take your medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Other instructions or notes

Instructions about how to take your medicines (e.g. with or after food) are available:

Example of a pharmacy dispensing label

Example of a medicine dispensing label
Dosing amounts vary between medicines and may not be the same for any medicine you have at home. Note: This is a fictitious product and all directions on the packaging are an example only. This product does not imply Therapeutic Goods Association approval and is purely for educational purposes regarding medicines use.

Date for reviewing your medicines

Ask your doctor to review all your medicines and write down the date of your next review on your medicines list. Having your medicines reviewed regularly will make sure you are only taking the medicines that you need to take, and also gives you a chance to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about your medicines.

You may be eligible for a Home Medicines Review by a pharmacist in your own home. Ask your doctor about organising a Home Medicines Review for you.

Find out more about a Home Medicines Review.

Choose the NPS Medicines List that suits you

You can keep a Medicines List in three different ways: