August 19, 2019

Be Medicinewise Week 2019: Getting to Know the Language of Medicines

Since 2011, NPS Medicinewise has educated and inspired the community about the potential risks of medicines through the annual Be Medicinewise Week. And this year is no different.

The 9th annual Be Medicinewise Week is 19–25 August 2019 and is about knowing how to communicate and learn about medicines to get the most out of them, safely. This is important in both English and non-English speaking communities.

So how can you better learn the language of medicine? NPS Medicinewise has released some important tips around learning the languages of medicine:

  1. Know all the medicines you take and why you take them. Keeping an up-to-date medicines list is a great way to keep track of your medicines.
  2. Understand the instructions for taking your medicines. Medicines only work if you are taking them properly, and you can only take them properly if you understand the instructions.
  3. Check with your health professional before starting any new medicine. A health professional can help you balance the benefits of a medicine with any potential risks.
  4. Ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand about your medicines. Seeking information from a trusted source can help you get the most out of your medicines, safely.

Medicines are part of most people’s lives, and having access to and understanding important information, and asking the right questions about medicines is the key to getting the most out of them, safely. This is why it is so important to get to know the language of medicines.

Be Medicine Wise Week is also a good opportunity to review what’s in your medicine cabinet. Anything that’s expired – or no longer needed – should be taken out of the packaging and returned to your local pharmacy for safe disposal through the RUM project. 

NPS Medicinewise have also put together a handy medicine list to print off and help you keep track of your medicines, which can be found in several languages here:

For more information on the campaign, visit

The Return of Unwanted Medicines Project is a free service that offers a way to dispose of unwanted or expired medicines safely and conveniently at your local community pharmacy. Find out more about the service here.

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