Medications

If you’re a regular user of over-the-counter medicines, or taking prescription drugs long term, you may want to know more about them.

To get specific information on one of your medicines, go to the Medsafe consumer medicine information:

  1. Use the search to find the name of your medicine.
  2. Click on the link to download a factsheet about using the medicine and its side-effects.

Online information isn’t a substitute for advice from your GP or pharmacist. Always talk to a health professional if you’re unsure about the correct use of your medication.

Use the right-hand links on this page to access websites with credible information.

Getting medicine in New Zealand

From a pharmacy

Your local chemist can provide a wide range of medications for common and less-serious illnesses and conditions.

For more serious complaints, you’ll need to see a doctor.

From your GP

Important! If your doctor tells you to take the whole course of medicine they’ve prescribed, make sure you always do this – even if you feel better before it’s all gone.

If you visit your doctor with a health problem, they may write you a prescription for medicine. It may be a medicine that you cannot buy at the chemist because it’s prescription-only, or it may be a medicine you could buy – but getting it on prescription will generally be cheaper.

Your GP will tell you how to take it, how much you need to take, what to avoid while you’re taking it, and any other important considerations. Your pharmacist may also give you advice about taking the medicine.

In this section

  • Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria. But bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, which makes it harder to treat infections. Read more
  • Hints on how to give medicine to your baby or child when they are sick. Read more
  • Used properly, medicine can help to keep you well. It is important to take your medicine correctly as problems can occur if you do not follow the instructions that come with your medicine. Read more
  • Many medicines in New Zealand are subsidised by the Government. You make a small contribution to the cost of the medicines you receive when you pay a prescription charge. Read more
  • New Zealanders can reduce their medicine costs through the prescription subsidy scheme. Read more
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