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Having a sick child can be a very scary experience for parents and carers. Understanding more about common childhood illnesses and symptoms can help you feel more in control. Coughs and colds can make your child feel sick and miserable, but there are things you can do to help. If you are still worried about your child after reading this information, then you should get advice from your health professional.
Overuse and misuse of antibiotics is increasing the problem of antibiotic resistance. We are all part of the problem and the solution. Read the facts that bust some common misconceptions about antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance.
Statins are medicines that lower the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood (often described as bad cholesterol). Statins also help reduce the chance of heart attack or stroke for people who are at high risk of these problems. Find out more about statins.
Antibiotics are medicines used to treat a wide variety of infections or diseases caused by bacteria, such as respiratory tract infections (eg, pneumonia and whooping cough), urinary tract infections, skin infections and infected wounds. Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since they were first introduced in the 1940s and 1950s. However, because they have been overused, many antibiotics are no longer effective against the bacteria they once killed.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-lasting lung disease where the small airways in the lungs are damaged making it harder for air to get in and out. Many people used to know the condition as emphysema and bronchitis.
Inhalers for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are devices which deliver medicine to prevent and control symptoms and help reduce exacerbations (flare ups). The variations between different inhaler devices can sometimes be confusing, but understanding them will help you make an informed choice about your care.
It's important to understand your medical test options and what each test involves. In some cases the benefit of a test is not clear cut, and you may want to discuss the 'pros and cons' with your doctor.
The knee is a commonly injured part of the body. In fact, in sport it’s the most commonly injured part, with research finding that up to one in four of all sport injuries affect the knee. Read on to learn more about knees, in particular the two most common injuries that often affect knee joints – meniscus tear and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – and what you need to know to help you receive the best care when you have an injury.
The more medicines you take, the more difficult it can be to remember important information about them. A medicines list can be a useful way to keep all the information about your medicines together.
Ibuprofen and paracetamol are two of the most commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to treat pain and fever in children. However, ibuprofen and paracetamol differ in how they work, how fast they work, and how long they last in the body, as well as who they can be given to, and their risk of side effects and interactions with other medicines.
Whether your child needs an X-ray, a CT scan, an ultrasound or an MRI will depend on the child’s clinical situation. Sometimes imaging may not be necessary, so knowing your options can help you in discussions with your health professional.
Imaging plays an important role in modern medicine. Modern imaging techniques – including X-rays, ultrasound, CT scans and MRI – can show structures inside your body in great detail.
An A-Z of common RTIs - infections of your respiratory tract — the parts of your body that help you breathe - your nose, throat and lungs. The infection can be caused by bacteria, a virus or even fungi.
Medicines do not have to be part of your care plan for dementia, nor play a large role in your life.
Vaccines are used to immunise people against infectious diseases, such as polio, hepatitis and whooping cough. Immunisation helps prevent diseases that can cause illness, severe disability or even death. For some diseases, immunising the whole population can eradicate the disease completely (as with smallpox) or make it very rare. Find out more about vaccination, immunity and why you should be immunised.
Understand what causes a UTI and what your treatment options are.
The most common medicines used as reliever or maintenance medicines for COPD belong to a group known as bronchodilators. These medications dilate (widen) your airways to relieve symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, making it easier for you to breathe.
Depression is a common problem, so if you are depressed you are not alone. More than 1 in 10 Australians will experience an episode of depression in their lifetime.
There are medicine and non-medicine treatments that can help with symptoms of depression, but no single treatment is right for everybody. It’s important to find a treatment that works for you, and this may take some trial and error. Find out more about the medicines available to treat moderate to severe depression.
An ankle sprain can put the brakes on your ability to walk, run and jump. Here are 10 things you should know about ankle sprains to help you get back moving as usual.
Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression. The decision to take an antidepressant, undertake psychological therapy, or combine both approaches, is very individual. Talk to your doctor about what you think will work best for you.
Learn how to give your child medicine safely and accurately.
Warfarin is a very effective anti-clotting medicine (anticoagulant) used to lower the risk of harmful blood clots. If you are prescribed warfarin, it is important that you know how to use it safely and correctly, to avoid side effects, especially bleeding.
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor will prescribe medicine to strengthen your bones and help prevent fractures. Improving your diet and lifestyle and reducing your risk of falls can also help.
Side effects, also called adverse reactions, are the unintended effects of a medicine. All medicines have possible side effects, but not everybody will experience them. When you are recommended a medicine, it's important to ask questions about side effects and what this means for you.
As well as helping you getting the most benefit from your medicines, good medicine management may reduce your chances of mishaps that can cause side effects or interactions.
People with type 2 diabetes will often need to take prescription medicines to help control their blood glucose levels. They may also need medicines to help manage other health conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. People with type 2 diabetes, and their healthcare professionals, should also be aware that some medicines can cause blood glucose levels to increase or decrease and this can change the effect of any diabetes medicine.
Blood pressure is the 'force' that keeps blood moving through your arteries once it has been pumped from your heart. Blood pressure readings can give an indication of how hard your heart is working and are an important part of a general health assessment. Managing medicines and monitoring blood pressure levels are important for people living with high blood pressure.
More than one million Australians have osteoporosis, a condition where bones become weak and fragile, increasing the likelihood of fractures. However, since most people do not have any symptoms or pain, they do not know that they have osteoporosis until they experience a fracture.
Almost one million people in Australia have type 2 diabetes – a metabolic condition that leads to uncontrolled levels of glucose (a type of sugar) in your blood. Blood glucose levels that are consistently above the normal range can cause serious complications: vision loss, kidney disease, foot and leg problems, and an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. It’s important to find the best treatment to keep your blood glucose levels within your target range.
Sometimes one medicine can mix badly with another in your body, and this can change how strongly the medicines work or whether they have side effects. This is called an interaction, and it can also happen when medicines mix with certain foods or drinks (including alcohol). Find out what you can do to avoid interactions.
If you have chronic pain, you are not alone. One in five Australians, including children and adolescents, lives with chronic pain, but this number rises to one in three for those over the age of 65. Chronic pain is usually defined as constant daily pain that is present for at least 3 of the preceding 6 months. Chronic pain can have many causes but it can also have no diagnosable cause. The following information concerns chronic pain that is not the result of cancer.
Headache affects nearly everyone at some point in their life. Understanding which type of headache you have will help you make an informed choice about your care.
It’s important to remember that most medicines have two different names – an active ingredient and a brand name. There may also be more than one brand of the same medicine. Read more to find out how to identify the differences in your medicines.
Information about the benefits and side effects of medicines can come from many sources, including the internet, the media, and family and friends. It can be hard to tell which information is useful and what is exaggerated hype, or just plain wrong. News stories might describe 'new research' or 'scientific evidence' in a way that sounds conclusive but may not be reliable. Being medicinewise means keeping yourself informed and using reliable sources.
If you or your family use a lot of medicines each year, the cost can really eat into your budget. It is worth knowing about the government programs that are there to help, such as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Safety Net.
In Australia, all medicines must be approved for sale by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), a division of the Australian Government Department of Health. Manufacturers of prescription medicines usually also apply for the medicine to be subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), in which the Government pays some of the cost of medicines for patients. Learn more about how medicines are regulated, what happens before a medicine reaches the shelves, and why not all medicines are subsidised.
Your lifestyle can directly affect your health. Changes to the way you live may help you avoid illness or let you and your doctor reduce the dose and/or the number of medicines that you take.
Complementary medicines are taken by millions of Australians and sold in supermarkets and pharmacies. Find out more about them, and how to use them safely.
Migraine is not just another word for ‘bad headache’. They have specific characteristics that distinguish them from tension-type headaches. Migraines affect about 1 in 10 people, particularly women. Minimising potential migraine triggers plays an important role in managing migraine. In addition, different medicines can be used as preventive therapy for migraine.
People with dementia may experience other medical problems or conditions that may or not be related to dementia. Find out more about how these conditions may be managed.
Keep track of medicines and access important health info any time and anywhere, especially in emergencies.
Diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels include conditions like angina, coronary heart disease, and stroke. Read on to learn about what can cause these conditions and what can be done to prevent them.
Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in Australia. Read about antibiotics, the causes of antibiotic resistance and what parents can do to manage common childhood respiratory tract infections when antibiotics are not recommended.
While many people experience a bad night’s sleep from time to time, a sleeping problem may become an issue for you if it continues for several nights or weeks. Thankfully, there are several techniques that can help you to sleep better — sleeping pills aren’t the only solution.