NPS MedicineWise has announced that Be Medicinewise Week will be held again this year from 12-18 October 2015, with a theme of “Be medicinewise at all ages and life stages”.
The theme focuses on how and when Australians may use medicines differently at various times in their lives.
Each day of the week will focus on a different age and life stage:
- Monday 12 October: Be medicinewise when pregnant and breastfeeding
- Tuesday 13 October: Be medicinewise with children
- Wednesday 14 October: Be medicinewise as a teenager/young adult
- Thursday 15 October: Be medicinewise when medicines are part of your life
- Friday 16 October: Be medicinewise as you’re getting older
NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says that being medicinewise means knowing how and when to use medicines safely and effectively across all life stages.
“Given the changes to our bodies and physiological processes that we experience over a lifespan it is not surprising that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to medicines. People at different ages and stages in life may need to use medicines quite differently,” says Dr Boyden.
“It is important to be aware of the safe and appropriate use of medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”
He says doctors, midwifes and pharmacists are great sources of advice at this stage in life.
“If you’re looking after children, there are important things you need to know about the appropriate selection, safe use, administration and dosage of medicines. Medicine mishaps can cause big problems in little bodies, so if you are a parent or carer it’s important to understand how to safely use medicines with children.
“While you’re young and predominantly healthy, you may only need to think about medicines from time to time, or you may be using complementary medicines such as vitamins. Even if you’re not taking anything regularly, medicine mistakes can happen and it’s crucial to know how to find out important information about your medicines.”
“When you start to get older, medicines may become a regular part of your life. Asking the right questions, keeping records, knowing about brand choices and being aware of interactions are all examples of medicinewise behaviour.
“And when we enter into old age, the way our bodies handle and react to medicines may change as well. Your body can become more sensitive to medicines and medicine interactions — so it is important together with your health professional to regularly review and monitor your medication regimen.”
To help people make wiser decisions about their medicines during any stage of life, NPS MedicineWise will make available a suite of free Be Medicinewise Week resources to support individuals, community groups and health professionals getting involved in the week.