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Medicines information

Accidental overdose of medicine

Accidental overdose of medicine is dangerous, but preventable. Here's how to avoid the risk of overdose, and the medicines that need special care.


Antibiotics revolutionised medicine in the 1940s because they treated infections caused by bacteria. Learn how antibiotics work and how to take them.


Antidepressants are medicines that treat depression and other mental health conditions. Read about the types and how to take them safely.


Antihistamine medications help ease allergy symptoms. Read more about how they're used to treat conditions like hay fever and asthma.

Anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs)

Anti-inflammatory medicines can be used to relieve pain, reduce redness and swelling (inflammation), or treat a fever.

Asthma medicines

Asthma relievers include inhalers or 'puffers' (e.g. ventolin and salbutamol), are medications that help to manage and control asthma symptoms.

Blood pressure medication

Blood pressure medicines ('antihypertensives'), such as ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics help manage high blood pressure.

Buying medicines online

Buying medicines online may seem to have advantages, but there are lots of risks too. Find out more about buying medicines online here.


Chemotherapy is medicine that aims to stop or slow down the growth of cancer cells. Find out how 'chemo' treatment works and its side effects.

Cold and flu medicines

Learn about over-the-counter medicines that might help relieve cold and flu symptoms and when antiviral medicine may be helpful.

Diabetes medication

There are many types of diabetes medicine including insulin, metformin and sulphonylureas. There's no one-size-fits-all medicine for diabetes.

Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for arthritis

DMARDs are medicines used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Learn how these medicines work and about the side effects.

Diuretic medicines

Find out what diuretic medicine is used for, how it works, the most common diuretics and any side effects associated with taking it.

General anaesthetic

A general anaesthetic is used to make you unconscious so you will not feel pain, move or be aware during surgery.

Generic vs. brand-name medicines

Every medicine has a brand name and a generic name. Learn about the differences and what to consider when deciding which is best for you.

HIV and AIDS medication

HIV and AIDS medication

HIV medications (called 'antiretrovirals') fight to stop the virus multiplying while helping to protect the immune system from damage caused by HIV.


Lithium is a medicine used to treat bipolar disorder and some other mental illnesses. Find out about how lithium works and what you need to know.

Local anaesthetic

A local anaesthetic temporarily numbs a part of your body. Here's what you should know about 'having a local', and questions to ask your doctor.

Medicines and alcohol

You need to be careful if you drink alcohol when taking some medicines. This includes over-the-counter medicines and herbal remedies. Learn more here.

Medicines and breastfeeding

While most medicines are safe to take while breastfeeding, some can affect your baby. Learn out more about medicines and breastfeeding here.

Medicines during pregnancy

Learn more about taking medicines during pregnancy, which includes over-the-counter medicine as well as herbal supplements and vitamins.

Medicines and driving

Some medicines can affect the skills you need to drive safely. Read here to find out how to reduce your risks and stay safe on the road.

Medicines for babies and children

Get practical and reliable advice on giving your sick infant or child medicine, including help with measuring dosage and managing side effects.

Medicines safety for older people

Older people are at increased risk of medicine-related problems. Learn how to take your medicines safely and what to ask your doctor.

Nicotine dependence medicines

Learn how over the counter and prescription medicines, along with professional quit smoking services, can help you to quit smoking.

Opioid medicines

Opioids are a group of medicines prescribed by doctors to treat pain. Learn about side effects, withdrawal symptoms and what to do in an overdose.

Out-of-date medicines

All medicines have an expiry date displayed on their packaging. Learn about why medicines expire, and how to dispose of old medicines safely.

Over the counter medicine

Over-the-counter medicines

There are some medicines you don't need a prescription for. These are called over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.

Pain-relief medicines

Pain relief medicines include over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Learn about their side effects as well as when and when not to use them.


You can take paracetamol for mild to moderate pain. Find out when to take paracetamol, its side effects and what to do if you take too much.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

Using the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), Australians can access a wide range of prescription medicines without paying full price.

Reading CMIs

Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) leaflets provide information about the medicine you are taking. Find out where to get a CMI and how to use them.

Reporting a problem with a medicine

You should tell your doctor or health professional about any problems with your medicine. It’s also helpful to report the problem to the TGA.

Scheduling of medicines and poisons

The scheduling of medicines is a national classification system that controls how medicines and poisons are made availiable to the public.

Side effects of medicines including vaccines

Side effects are any unwanted effects of a medicine. Learn more about different types of medicine side effects and what to do if you have them.


Statins are medicines used to lower cholesterol and are recommended for people at risk of cardiovascular disease. Here's how statins work.


Learn about the different types of sunscreen and how it works to protect you from the damaging effects of the sun.

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