What is Consumer Medicines Information?

Consumer medicines information
—reliable information

With the rise of the internet, people can find a vast range
of information at home, but there is a need for caution
when dealing with issues relating to health. The best way to
guarantee you are getting reliable information about your
medicines is to ask your pharmacist for a CMI.

One website that can be relied upon for authentic and
trustworthy information on medicines is www.nps.org.au
At this website, you can find CMIs for most of the prescription
medicines available in Australia.

While CMIs are a valuable resource, reading one does not
take the place of counselling by a health professional. It is still
important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your
health and medicines.

What a CMI contains:

Consumer Medication Information brochures are written in
plain English by the pharmaceutical company that makes the
medicine. They answer common questions about the
medicine, including
• what it is for
• how to use it properly
• things to consider before taking it
• if there are any known side effects.

The CMI has a standard format that includes clear headings
in a logical sequence. It contains simple instructions and
straightforward explanations of what you need to do to get
the best results from your medicine. The CMI is designed
to help you locate the information you need easily, without
having to search.

The CMI will tell you:
• Who should not take the medicine
• What to tell your doctor before you start taking
the medicine
• Which other medicines may interfere with your medicine
• How to take the medicine
• What to do if you forget to take the medicine
• What to do if you take too much medicine by mistake
• Things that you must or must not do while taking
the medicine
• Things to be careful of, such as driving or drinking alcohol
• Symptoms and signs of possible side effects to watch for
• The ingredients in the medicine

Having access to reliable information about the
medications you take will not only help you better
understand their actions, but also equip you to
play a bigger role in the management of your own
health. That’s why we encourage consumers to ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’
for more facts, especially in the form of a Consumer
Medicines Information (CMI) flyer.

How often do you leave the doctor’s surgery
feeling overwhelmed?

You may have been discharged from hospital or started on a
new medicine. It’s easy to forget large amounts of information,
especially when you aren’t feeling well. The best thing about
a CMI is that you can take it home and read it at your leisure. It
might even jog your memory about something you may have
forgotten to tell your GP, which can then help you to avoid
potential problems and achieve a better health outcome.

Ask for a Consumer Medicine Infomation (CMI)

When you would like more information about your medicines,
simply ask for a Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) leaflet
from your local community pharmacy. Provided free of charge
to pharmacy customers, CMIs are reader-friendly documents
that provide information about prescription medicines.

A CMI can be provided at any time: when someone is starting a
new medicine for the first time or whenever a customer
asks for it.