• The Justice Health Pharmacy Department provides medications for all patients across NSW.
  •  Medications help keep people well
  • When medications are taken the right way they can help you feel better. 
  • Always follow the instructions from the doctor or nurse on how to take your medications. Some medications work best when taken with food, or at a certain time of the day.


Managing your medications

  • It is important to manage your medications so they work well and safely.
  • If you don't manage your medications properly, they can make you have unwanted side-effects or they can interact with other medications and not work as well.
  • It is important you know all the medication you are taking, what you are taking them for, and how to take them right. Ask a nurse if you would like a list of all the medications you take.
  • All medications have a Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) sheet that explains what the medication is used for, how to take it and side effects to look out for.
  • So you can take your medications safely and correctly, ask a nurse for a CMI for each of your medications.

Self-Medication Program

  • One way you can manage your medications is through a self-medication pack (also called 'monthly pack').
  • Your monthly pack is prepared by the Pharmacy and has one month's worth of your regular medications. This way you can take the medications yourself and be active in looking after your own health. Some medications cannot be given in a monthly pack and need to given out by the nurse daily.
  • If you would like more information about the Self-Medication Program, speak with a nurse.

The Do’s and Don'ts of taking medication


  • Keep medication in a safe, cool, and dry place
  • Follow the instructions written on the label of the medication
  • Ask a doctor or nurse if you have any questions about your medications
  • Tell a doctor or nurse if you think you are getting side-effects from the medication.


  • Don't share your medication with others
  • Don't store medication in direct sunlight
  • Don't remove medication from its original container or mix different kinds of medications in one container
  • Don't use medication past its expiry date - every medication container will have an expiry date written on it. For example, "Exp: 6/24" written on the container means that the medication expires at the end of June 2024.

Medication names

  • All medications have an "active ingredient", which is the chemical that makes it work.
  • Medications with the same active ingredient can have different brand names and packaging.
  • Know the "active ingredient" of the medications you take. This is so that you don't get confused if your medication suddenly looks different.
  • The "active ingredient" will always be written on the medication packaging, even if the brand name and the packaging change.
  • For example, paracetamol is the "active ingredient" name. Panadol is the “brand name”.

Release medication

Are you getting released soon?

  • Let a nurse know so that the Pharmacy can prepare a supply of release medication and a sheet that lists all the medications you are on.
  • If you are on the Self-Medication Program, you can take the remaining pack with you.
  • Make sure you collect your release medication before you leave. When you are released, bring your release medication and medication list to a doctor who will make sure you can keep taking your medications.

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More information:

Click here for information about back pain medication.