IN THE lead-up to Be Medicinewise Week (October 14-20), NPS MedicineWise is reminding travellers to stay healthy on the road by following five basic medicine safety tips.
Whether you're hitting the highway to visit friends and relatives, taking the kids out of town for the school holidays, or embarking on a caravanning or four-wheel drive adventure, a medicine mishap is probably not on the itinerary.
But NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says whatever the holiday, there are simple ways to avoid mistakes with medicines when you're travelling.
"There might not be much you can do about lost luggage, unavoidable delays, or a navigator who's reading the map upside-down, but a medicines mishap needn't ruin your travels; especially when it can so easily be avoided," Dr Boyden says.
Carry the script with you
If you regularly take medicines, it's a good idea to make sure you take a full set of current and repeat prescriptions with you, as it may be difficult to get an appointment with a doctor at short notice while you're away from home.
Pack a good supply
Remember to pack your prescriptions and enough medicines in case you need to be away from home for more time than expected.
Know the active ingredient
Be sure to know the active ingredient in your usual medicines so you can get the right medicine from a different pharmacy if you need to, and to ensure you don't double up on doses of the same active ingredient.
Store medicines wisely
Keeping your medicines in their original packaging is important, as it identifies what they are, includes the dosing instructions and ensures the medicines won't get damaged.
Keeping your medicines cool and away from sunlight is important when travelling as heat and sunlight can result in them not working properly or losing their effectiveness before the expiry date.
Keep a list of medicines
If you need to see a doctor while you're away, be sure to let them know about any medical conditions you have and all the medicines you're taking.
Keeping a list of your current medicines can help with this.
For more information visit www.nps.org.au/bemedicinewise.