Science & Medical |
NPS MedicineWise

People should not always expect a medicine when they go to their doctor

People should not always expect a medicine when they go to their doctor

With some media interest around the prescribing of placebos and medicines for conditions that they may not be intended for, NPS MedicineWise is encouraging people to talk to their doctor about their medicines and their effects before starting treatment.

People should not always expect a medicine when they visit their doctor. Antibiotics, for example, only work on bacteria, not other infections like viruses that cause colds and flu. Taking an antibiotic when it’s not needed will not make a significant difference to how you feel or how fast you recover.

Choosing Wisely Australia has 5 questions you can ask your doctor or other healthcare provider about your medicines and whether you really need them.

NPS MedicineWise has online information on a wide range of topics including pain management, depression, insomnia and the appropriate use of antibiotics.

For more information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and minerals) from a health professional, call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) for the cost of a local call (calls from mobiles may cost more). Hours of operation are Monday–Friday 9am–5pm AEST (excluding public holidays).


Spokespeople are available for media interviews.

Media enquiries: Matthew Harris, NPS MedicineWise media adviser: (02) 8217 9229, 0419 618 365 or

Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit,
NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines, medical tests and other health technologies.
We receive funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.