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What you need to know about your medicines

Hospital pre-admission checklist

It is important for us to know what medicines you are taking. We also need to know if there have been any recent changes to your medicines.

1) Please bring into hospital all the medicines you are currently taking plus any repeat prescriptions

  • Bring all your medicines in their original labelled containers
  • Bring enough medicine for the length of your stay in hospital. This will ensure you will not be charged for these medicines during your hospital stay. If you require your regular medicines to be dispensed by the hospital, you may be required to pay for them.

2) Please bring into hospital a written list of all your current medicines including:

  • All prescription medicines you are taking
  • Any medicines bought from the supermarket or health food shops such as:
    • Vitamins and minerals
    • Over the counter medicines
    • Eye drops and eye ointments
    • Patches
    • Suppositories
    • Cream or ointments for the skin

3) In case of a planned admission (that is, when you know you are coming to hospital), please ask your doctor if you should keep taking all of your usual medicines or whether you need to stop one or more of your medicines prior to your admission. Please tell us which (if any) medicines your doctor has told you to stop taking and the date that you stopped taking them.

4) Please bring any concession cards you may have, for example:

  • Pensioner concession card
  • Health care card
  • Repatriation or veterans’ affairs health card
  • Commonwealth seniors’ health card
  • Pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) safety net or entitlement card

5) Your Medicare card

6) Your private health insurance card

When you arrive at hospital

When you are admitted to hospital, you will be asked about your medicines. It is important to tell us about all of your medicines. Show your list of current medicines and give all your medicines to the nursing staff who will store them safely during your stay. This will help us to make sure you receive the right dose at the right time. It is important to tell staff if you have experienced a reaction to any medicines in the past or any allergies you have.

During your hospital stay

One of the most important things you can do to make your medicines safe is to ask questions when you don’t understand what is happening, or if something does not seem right to you.

  • Your doctor or nurse should check your wrist band and ask your name before you are given your medicine – if you think they have forgotten to do this, please feel free to remind them
  • Tell the doctor or nurse if you think the medicine is not right for you
  • Know at what time you should take your medicine
  • If you do not receive your medicine, you should ask for it
  • Ask about possible side effects of any medicine you are given
  • Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you do not feel well after taking any medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist:

  • What is the name of the medicine?
  • What does the medicine do and how will this help me?
  • How long will I need to take the medicine?
  • What is the best way to take this medicine?
  • Is it safe to take this medicine with my other medicines?
  • Is it safe to take this medicine at the same time as my other medicines?
  • Are there foods, drinks or other medicines I should avoid while taking this medicine?
  • What side effects are likely with this medicine?
  • What do I do if side effects occur?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • Does this medicine have any other brand names?
  • Is there any written information about this medicine?
  • Can I take this medicine with any allergies that I have?

When leaving hospital

We will make sure you have a sufficient supply of the medicines prescribed for you to take home.

Do not be afraid to ask questions about any medicines. Your medicines may have changed while you were in hospital. Your list of medicines can be updated or a new list can be prepared if required.

  • Ask if a doctor or pharmacist could review this updated/new list with you
  • Ask if you should resume taking any medicines that you had stopped before admission to hospital
  • Make sure you understand the instructions for your medicines
  • If you have any doubts ask your doctor or pharmacist

Soon after you leave hospital, see your GP and community pharmacist. Remember to take your new/updated list of medicines with you, together with the medicines themselves, so they can update their records with any changes.

Who pays for your medicine?

Your medicines may be paid for by one or more of the following:

  • Your private health insurance fund
  • You
  • Federal Government
  • Workers’ Compensation (WorkSafe Victoria)
  • Transport Accident Commission (TAC)

As a general rule, the hospital-related medicines that you receive while in hospital are paid for by your private health insurance, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, WorkSafe Victoria or the TAC.

 You may need to pay for your regular medicines if you require more during your stay in hospital, or for any other medicines that are prescribed to take home with you.

 Any costs associated with medicines that you take home, or medicines dispensed to you while in hospital that not related to your admission depends on:

  • If the medicines prescribed for you are not available on the PBS, you may be expected to pay more than the amount you normally pay for PBS prescriptions.
  • Medicines that you have received from the hospital can contribute towards your PBS safety net card. Please ensure you request a prescription record form from the hospital pharmacy to pass on to your community pharmacist, in order to update your safety net record.

Need help

 For further information or if you have any questions please contact Cabrini Pharmacy as follows: