Consumer Medicine Information
Consumer Medicine Information leaflets, or CMI for short, are specially written leaflets that provide information about Prescription medicines and Pharmacist-Only medicines. They are produced in accordance with Commonwealth Government regulations that specify the information they must contain and how they should be presented.
CMIs contain information that is important to know before and while using a medicine. They help you better understand the medicines you are taking.
The pharmaceutical company that makes the medicine writes the CMI. It must be factual and not promotional.
A CMI includes the following information:
- name of the medicine;
- names of active ingredients, as well as the inactive ingredients;
- dosage form of the medicine, e.g. tablet, injection or suppository;
- what the medicine is used for and how it works;
- warnings and precautions, such as when not to take the medicine;
- any interactions the medicine might have with food or other medicines;
- how to use the medicine properly;
- side effects, if any;
- what to do in the case of an overdose;
- how to store the medicine properly;
- the manufacturer’s name and address; and
- the date the CMI was last updated.
Including all of this information can make a CMI quite long. But all of it is important.
You should be able to follow the headings and subheadings to find out easily what information you need to know.
CMIs either come as a leaflet in the medicine’s packaging or in the form of a computer printout from a pharmacist or doctor. They can also be downloaded from websites such as http://www.medicines.org.au/ or http://www.nps.org.au/.
You should get a CMI each time you get a new prescription medicine. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you did not get one or if you want to discuss the medicine.
Keep the CMI handy so you can read it again if you need to.
The Commonwealth government has established a CMI Quality Assurance Reference Group to review CMIs. You can contact this group with any questions you have about CMIs by writing to:
The Project Officer
CMI Quality Assurance Reference Group
c/- PO Box 764
North Sydney NSW 2059
Useful CMI links
- Medicines.org.au – a website that provides consumers and health professionals with free access to a large number of Australian Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) and Product Information (PI) documents;
- Medicines Line: Get information about your medicines over the phone. NPS works with healthdirect Australia to provide consumers with information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines. Call 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424).
- NPS MedicineWise website – http://www.nps.org.au/ for information on medicines, conditions and medical tests.