Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Home medicines review

6-minute read

What is a Home Medicines Review?

A Home Medicines Review (HMR) is when an accredited pharmacist checks the medicines you are taking at home.

Taking lots of different medicines can be complicated. A Home Medicines Review makes sure that your medicines are safe. A Home Medicines Review also checks that:

  • you are taking your medicines correctly
  • your medicines are working for you

An HMR involves your doctor and your preferred community pharmacy. It may also involve other health care team members, such as carers or nurses in community practice.

If you handle someone’s medical care, it’s important to manage their medicines very carefully. Not taking them properly or mixing the wrong ones can have serious consequences.

An HMR is different from a medication review by your doctor or in hospital. Doctors make sure you are receiving the right medicines for your condition.

How do I get a Home Medicines Review?

Your doctor will assess your need for a Home Medicines Review. If your doctor thinks you will benefit from the service, they will write a referral to a pharmacist.

Usually, your doctor will choose a pharmacist for you. They must be:

  • an accredited community pharmacist
  • an independent pharmacist

You can also search for a pharmacist near you on the healthdirect service finder.

FIND A HEALTH SERVICE — The Service Finder can help you find doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other health services.

How much does a Home Medicines Review cost?

You do not have to pay for the home medicines review. However, you might have to pay to see your doctor for the referral, unless they bulk bill.

What happens during a Home Medicines Review?

Before your HMR

Before the pharmacist visits you at home, make sure you gather all the medicines you are taking. Remember to include:

Remember to include your:

  • inhalers
  • patches
  • creams
  • eye or ear drops

During your HMR visit

The pharmacist will visit you in your home.

They will talk to you about the medicines you are taking. This will include any:

  • prescription medicines
  • over-the-counter medicines
  • vitamins and supplements

The pharmacist will:

  • check your medicines haven’t passed their use-by date
  • check how you take your medicines
  • suggest ways of helping you remember to take the right medicine at the right time
  • show you how to store your medicines properly

The pharmacist can also show you how to use and look after any medical devices you might use. For example, inhalers, blood pressure monitors and blood glucose monitors.

After your HMR

The pharmacist will write a report and send it to your doctor. You should make a follow-up appointment with your doctor after your HMR.

Your doctor will discuss the report with you and write a plan for managing your medicines. The report might suggest that some of your medicines could be changed.

Your doctor will talk to you about any changes they make. If you agree, a copy of your plan will be sent to your local community pharmacy. This will help your pharmacy support you with any changes to your medicines.

After going through the report with you, the doctor will give you a ‘Medication Management Plan’. This should be shared with all your healthcare providers.

What happens if I live in an aged-care home?

When you live in an aged-care home a medication review is known as a Residential Medication Management Review.

Your doctor will need to refer you for the review.

The pharmacist will visit you at your aged-care home. They will talk about your medicines with:

  • you
  • your family
  • carers
  • staff at your aged-care home

The pharmacist will write a report for your doctor and healthcare team. The report might make suggestions on how to improve your medicine management.

How often should I have a Home Medicines Review?

If your circumstances change - for example, you start taking new medicines - you may need another HMR. Otherwise, you can have a Home Medicines Review every 2 years.

If you think your medicines are affecting your daily life, talk to your doctor.

Is an Home Medicines Review right for me?

It’s a good idea to ask for an HMR if you:

  • take lots of medicines
  • have medicines prescribed by different doctors
  • start a new medicine
  • have recently been in hospital
  • feel unwell after taking medicines
  • don’t always remember to take your medicines
  • are concerned about your medicines

Tools to help you manage your medicines

These tools and resources can help you manage your medicines.

  • Visit the NPS Medicinewise website for hints and tips on managing medicines.
  • Create a My Health Record. This is a secure online summary of your health information. You can control what goes into it, and who can access it. You can choose to share the health information with doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2022

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Managing your medicines - NPS MedicineWise

Learn about how to manage your medicines to get the best results, & reduce the risk of side effects & interactions.

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

Heartburn and reflux: manage your medicine - Choosing wisely

Heartburn and reflux medicines (proton pump inhibitors) are often only needed for a short time. Download a factsheet about managing heartburn and reflux.

Read more on Choosing Wisely Australia website

Medicines - tips for the safe use of medicines -

Every year thousands of problems arise from misuse of medicines. Find out how to use them safely.

Read more on myDr website

What is a medicines review? - Choosing wisely

A medicines review can improve your treatment and prevent problems, especially for elderly patients taking multiple drugs.

Read more on Choosing Wisely Australia website

Making wise choices about medicines

Learn about how to weigh up the pros & cons of taking a medicine & how to work with your health professional to make the right decisions for you.

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

Medicines and dementia: what you need to know

Find resources to help you communicate about dementia & your care. Learn about the role of medicines in managing dementia. 

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

Safe use of medicines | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

Medicines go through a thorough process to make sure their therapeutic benefits outweigh their risks. But they can cause issues if not used properly. It’s important to know what medicines you’re taking, use them as directed, and know what to do if you travel.

Read more on Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care website

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - Services Australia

Some prescription medicines can cost a lot of money. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) can lower the cost.

Read more on Centrelink website

Understanding drug interactions

Find out what you can do to avoid unwanted interactions between your medicines, food & drink.

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

Mild asthma: practical considerations and a new treatment option - NPS MedicineWise

Navigating treatment options for mild asthma includes practical considerations, shared decision-making and treatment guidelines.

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Queensland Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.