If you take multiple medicines you likely understand the feeling of ‘what is the red pill for again?’, ‘how many of the blue pill do I take?’. It can be overwhelming and straight-up dangerous. The same goes for supplements. There are more people now than ever taking multiple medicines as well as dietary and health supplements.

Lots of people are so cavalier towards medicine, that it actually works against them in terms of both health and safety. This perhaps could be a lack of understanding about what they are taking. If you are ever unsure about how to get the most of your medicines, safely, follow these four useful tips from MedicineWise.

1. Keep a medicines list

This is a great way to keep track of what you are taking, why you are taking them and how much you need to be taking. Also, remember to note the active ingredient in each medicine. You should keep this list current and share it with your healthcare professional. NPS MedicineWise has a list you can download here.

2. Use the MedicineWise app

The app can store a medicine list, create reminders and provide information on your medicines. It is also a great way to keep track of a loved one’s medicines if they don’t do it themselves.

3. Call the Medicine Line

The Medicines Line is a free service from NPS MedicineWise providing people with information from health professionals on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (this includes supplements and herbs). Call 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) Mon-Fri 9am-5pm AEST. Closed on public holidays, regular call charges apply.

4. Ask your health professional if you have any questions

If there is something you don’t understand, or you haven’t checked when something changes with your medicines, then you need to ask. Asking your health professional any questions you may have is the best way to get the most out of your medicines, safely.

Even after all of this, you should still do your due diligence around what medicines you are taking. It is definitely worth getting a second opinion from another doctor or health professional. This will give you much more certainty that what you taking is benefiting you and is right for your individual situation. Medicines can often cause more harm than good so don’t risk it. Be sure.

This article was written by freelance writer, Lachlan Cornell