Too many medicines? service
Taking a number of different medicines, particularly if you are older, puts you at a higher risk of serious medicine-related side effects. If you are taking a lot of different medications, there could be signs that your medicines may not be working well together.

With this in mind, Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) and Whanganui Regional Health Network (WRHN) are piloting the Central Region’s Too many medicines? service.

The service is all about raising awareness and reducing harm resulting from people taking a lot of medicines, and/or a combination of medicines that might not be working well together. That includes 'over the counter' medications such as paracetamol, asprin and ibuprofen.

What do I need to do?

If you have concerns, please make an appointment to see your doctor or pharmacist.

To help your doctor provide informed advice, please take all your medicines or a list of your medicines (which you can fill out on the back of the brochure) to your appointment with the doctor, pharmacist or specialist. Make sure you include those you buy from the health shop, naturopath, pharmacy or supermarket.

At your appointment you can discuss with your health professional how the pills make you feel and whether changing the dose or cutting some out would help.

People are being asked to discuss their medicines with their chemist or doctor while at the same time, urging them not to stop taking their medicines while they wait for their appointment.

Dizziness, feeling confused, sick or constipated, experiencing incontinence or being prone to falling are examples. And you may have other symptoms that cause you concern.

Not knowing why you’re taking each of your medicines is also another good reason to have them reviewed. It’s important to feel comfortable with the medicines you’re taking and this means understanding what each medicine is doing to improve your health.

“We want to ensure people are taking the right pills for them. As we get older, we tend to be given more medicines for different conditions, says WDHB allied health manager Louise Allsopp And sometimes we’re given them by different doctors so we all need to stop and check that all these medicines, including herbal and Maori medicines, and medicines purchased in supermarkets, are working well for us.”

Posters and leaflets have been placed in doctors’ rooms and other locations around towns and rural communities throughout the district to highlight the Too many medicines? service.
Electronic versions of these can be found below.