When should young people take responsibility for own meds?
A MEDICINEWISE survey has revealed results from Aussie adults about the best age for young people to start dosing their own drugs.
In a recent survey conducted for NPS MedicineWise, Australian adults were asked to choose the best age (between 12 and 20 years) is appropriate for young people to safely start to dose and be responsible for their own medicines.
The survey revealed 33% of the respondents indicated they thought 16 years and over was an appropriate age, while 17% said 14 years and over and 20% suggested 18 years and above.
A Hervey Bay Doctor Shaun Rudd said teenagers should be responsible enough at age 16 to take their own medication.
Dr Rudd, who is the Chair of the Australian Medical Association Queensland Board and Council, has four children of his own.
He said there were however children out there without parents and it was important they took necessary medications when needed.
"My biggest tip would be to seek professional medical advice first," Dr Rudd said.
Dr Rudd said it was the responsibility of the parents when it came to children under the age of 16.
Be Medicinewise Week is providing tips to teenagers and their families on the importance of being medicine wise as they grow up and become independent and responsible for their own health.
NPS MedicineWise Clinical Adviser Dr Jeannie Yoo said parents and carers should talk to their teenagers about medicines.
Dr Yoo said many children younger than 16 are already managing health conditions like asthma or a serious allergy.
"Teenagers can start to take responsibility for their own health by learning how to ask questions about their medicines, reading labels, packaging carefully and understanding why it is important to always follow instructions from their doctor or pharmacist," Dr Yoo said.
A great tip for parents and carers is to encourage teenagers to use technology to help manage their medicines as they start to grow up.
The free MedicineList app stores dose details, sets alarms and records medicines and health information.
The information stored in the app can be emailed to schools and also shared with health professionals during consultations or emergencies.
A fact sheet 'You're never too cool to be medicinewise' has been developed for teenagers and their families this Be Medicinewise Week.
It includes questions to ask about medicines, the importance of sticking to action plans, using technology to help remember doses, and who's who in your healthcare.
Find out more information about the campaign at www.nps.org.au/be-medicinewise-week.