All Posts Tagged: medication

Active ingredient prescribing

What you see on prescriptions is changing

From February 2021 onwards, your doctor’s prescription may appear a little different due to ‘active ingredient prescribing’. Read on to find out more.

Active ingredient prescribing

Under new medicine regulations, doctors must include the active ingredient names when preparing prescriptions for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation PBS (RPBS) medicines.

This means most medicines will be prescribed by their active ingredient, not the brand name.

For example, if you were prescribed antibiotics, you may see Amoxicillin (the active ingredient) written on the script instead of the brand name (e.g. Amoxil).

Sometimes the brand name will still be on the script, but the active ingredient should appear first.

What’s an active ingredient?

They’re the ingredients in medicines that have an effect in the body.

Why are scripts changing?

It will help patients understand what medicines they are taking.

The change also aims to:

  • Reduce the risk of patients taking multiple doses of medicines
  • Encourage pharmacists and patients to discuss and use generic medicines
  • Decrease out-of-pocket expenses
  • Make the PBS more sustainable
  • Align Australia with international prescribing practices.

Can my doctor and I still choose specific brands?

Yes, doctors can still include a brand name on the prescription if they believe it’s clinically necessary. And you can still choose your medicine of choice at the pharmacy.

Will this change the cost of my medicine?

There is no change to the cost of PBS or RPBS medicines. However, you may pay less if you choose a generic medicine.

Are generic medicines safe?

Yes. The Therapeutic Goods Administration carefully assesses each generic medicine before it can be sold in Australia. Tests ensure it’s safe and has the same effect as the original brand.

Let us know if you have any questions

Our team of Pascoe Vale doctors are always here to help. Please let us know if you have any questions about your prescriptions.

 

Source: PBS

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Cholesterol

What’s cholesterol and why does it matter?

Cholesterol is one of those words you’ve heard about and probably seen on food packaging. But what exactly is it and why does it matter?

Cholesterol is essential for the body

Cholesterol is a type of fat that is part of all animal cells. It’s essential for many of the body’s metabolic processes, including the production of hormones, bile and vitamin D.

Cholesterol is carried around the body by two key transport systems in the blood:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It’s called the ‘bad’ cholesterol because when its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – is called the ‘good’ cholesterol, because it helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries.

You don’t need to eat foods high in cholesterol. The body is very good at making its own cholesterol.

Cholesterol is important

Cholesterol is produced by the liver and also made by most cells in the body. It’s carried around in the blood by little ‘couriers’ called lipoproteins. We need a small amount of blood cholesterol because the body uses it to:

  • Build the structure of cell membranes
  • Make hormones like oestrogen, testosterone and adrenal hormones
  • Help your metabolism work efficiently, e.g. cholesterol is essential for your body to produce vitamin D
  • Produce bile acids, which help the body digest fat and absorb important nutrients.

Effects of high cholesterol

The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol and dietary fat. When we eat animal fats, the liver transports the fat, together with cholesterol (in the lipoproteins), into our bloodstream.

Too much cholesterol circulating within LDL in our bloodstream leads to fatty deposits developing in the arteries. This causes the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.

Avoid saturated fats

The best way to have healthy levels of cholesterol in your diet is to limit foods high in saturated fats. Try to avoid:

  • Fatty meats
  • Processed meats like salami and sausages
  • Snack foods like chips
  • Most takeaway foods, especially deep-fried foods
  • Cakes, biscuits and pastries.

Lifestyle tips to cut cholesterol

Changing some of your lifestyle habits may also help to reduce your cholesterol levels. Suggestions include:

  • Reduce your alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks a day, or stop drinking altogether
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise regularly, e.g. at least 30 minutes of brisk walking daily
  • Try to lose any excess body fat
  • Control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.

Our range of health services can help you change your lifestyle. For example, exercise physiology can improve your heart health, while dietetics can help ensure you’re eating the right foods.

Medication may be needed

For some people, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. Your doctor may recommend medications to force your blood LDL levels down.

Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats cardiovascular disease.

Any questions about cholesterol?

Chat to your doctor if you have any questions about cholesterol. It’s better to start managing high cholesterol earlier rather than later.

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Travel health Melbourne

Travel checklist: do these things before you go

Summer is an exciting time for Australians. Many of us enjoy time off work to relax, spend time with family and friends or even go on holidays.

If you’re lucky enough to be travelling overseas, follow these tips for a smooth and stress-free trip.

Research your destination

Read up on your destination before you arrive – there are countless travel websites and guide books available. You could also talk with family or friends who are familiar with the places you’ll be visiting. As you research, pay particular attention to local laws, entry and exit requirements, health issues and safety.

Register you details

Make sure you register your travel and contact details on Smartraveller. This can make it easier for the government to contact you in the case of an emergency. You can also subscribe to receive free email notifications when the information for your destinations changes.

Cover yourself with travel insurance

Organising travel insurance is an essential part of preparing for your overseas trip. If you’re uninsured, you’re personally liable for covering any medical or other costs resulting from unexpected incidents or accidents. Check you’re covered for any pre-existing medical conditions and any additional activities you plan to undertake, such as skiing or hiring a motorcycle.

Organise your passports and visas

All Australian citizens, including children, must have a valid passport before leaving Australia and maintain a valid passport while overseas. Find out early which visas you need by contacting the relevant embassy of the countries you intend to visit. Some destinations have specific entry and exit requirements, including compulsory vaccinations.

Get the right vaccinations

Your doctor can check the areas that you will visit, and recommend the appropriate vaccinations to keep you and your family safe. We have dedicated Travel Health GPs to help you with this. While we recommend making an appointment 6-8 weeks before your departure date, it’s never too late to come and see us.

Plan your medications

If you’re planning to take medicine overseas, you should:

  • Meet any legal requirements imposed by the foreign country
  • Take enough medicine to cover at least the planned length of your trip
  • Carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking, and stating that the medicine is for your personal use
  • Always leave the medicine in its original packaging so that it’s clearly labelled with your name and dosage instructions
  • Separate quantities between your luggage in case a bag goes missing.

Additional health tips

Be aware of the risk of hepatitis and HIV – practise safe sex and avoid ear-piercing, acupuncture, tattooing or dental work while travelling in destinations with lower health or hygiene standards.

Avoid temporary ‘black henna’ tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions.

Finally, if you wear glasses, take along a spare pair and/or a copy of the prescription so that they can be replaced more easily if lost or broken.

For more pre-holiday tips, check out Smartraveller.

Have a great time!

Being prepared for your overseas holiday is the first step to having a great time.

Remember, our Travel Health GPs can assist with all your travel health requirements including vaccinations. Safe travels!

 

Source: Smartraveller

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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