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:
- Use the search to find the name of your medicine.
- 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
- 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
- The Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card allows the cardholder and named family members to pay a lower amount on government prescription charges. The purpose of the card is to help people who face high prescription costs but who do not have a Community Services Card or a High Use Health card. Read more
The division of the Ministry of Health that controls regulation of medicines and medical devices.
New Zealand Universal List of Medicines (NZULM)
Brings together information about commonly used medicines in New Zealand from Medsafe, PHARMAC and the Pharmacy Guild.
Information about what medicines are funded in New Zealand, and how much they might cost you.
Information on drugs, supplements and herbal information
US National Library of Medicine
Information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues.
Developed by the Starship Foundation and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand.