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Managing your medicines before, during and after a hospital stay

Before you go to hospital

Make sure your doctor knows about all the medicines you take, including over the counter medicines, vitamins, herbs and supplements— and don’t wait until the last minute before your procedure. Your doctor may ask you to stop or change some to reduce the risk of bleeding or other side effects.

Starting a new medicine in hospital?

Make sure you know the answers to these questions:

  • What is this medicine supposed to do?
  • Why is this medicine being recommended?
  • How and when should I take it?
  • How long will I need to take this medicine for?
  • Are there any foods, drinks or other medicines I need to avoid when I’m taking this?
  • Are there any activities that this medicine might impact?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • What are the possible side effects and how common are they?
  • What should I do if I experience a side effect?
  • Can you provide any written information about the medicine?

Coming home from hospital

Ask the hospital pharmacist to explain any changes to the medicines you’re taking. Make sure you understand what new medicines are for, and keep your GP up to date on any changes.


Taking 5 or more medicines?

Taking five or medicines has been linked to increased risk of side effects and interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a review to make sure you are taking the best combination of medicines at the right doses.

Download an app

Apps such as the MedicineWise: Manage Medicine app from NPS MedicineWise can help you manage your medications safely and remind you when to take them.

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Things you should know

While we hope you find this information helpful, please note that it is general in nature.  It is not health advice, and is not tailored to meet your individual health needs.  You should always consult a trusted health professional before making decisions about your health care.  While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date.  And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them.  For these reasons we are unable to accept responsibility for any loss that may be sustained from acting on this information (subject to applicable consumer guarantees). Medibank Private Limited ABN 47 080 890 259. 

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