(Return Unwanted Medicines , not the drink)


Do you know what to do with medicines you don’t want anymore?

The RUM project is a way for medicines that are either out of date or not needed anymore to be disposed of safely.  Community Pharmacies have RUM bins that all returned medicines are placed in to for safe destruction.  This means that any medicines you have that you don’t want anymore should be returned to a Pharmacy where they will be disposed of into the RUM bin.  The bins are collected when full and incinerated.

Sharps and blood testing strips can not be taken to a Pharmacy for disposal.


Why can’t I flush unwanted medicines or throw them in the bin?

Medicines that end up in landfill or our water ways can be ingested by our sea life.  There are measurable amounts of medicines in Sydney Harbour!  Our sea life will be adversely affected by this and ultimately so will we.  We don’t want to be taking in medicines through our food and water.

There is also a risk of medicines being taken by children from the garbage that can lead to poisoning.


Can I still take a medicine if it is out of date?

If you take a medicine that is out of date there are two likely outcomes.  The first is that nothing will happen as the medicine has lost its effectiveness through breaking down into another form and will not work.  The second is more dangerous as the medicine may have started to breakdown into a dangerous form which could be harmful.  For these reasons you should never take an out of date medicine and you should check the expiry dates on medicines in your cupboard so that you can take any that are out of date to a Pharmacy to be disposed of.

Changes to treatment of reflux

Changes to treatment of reflux

If you are someone who takes prescribed medicine for reflux you are likely to be aware of changes that came in to effect in May with respect to what Doctor’s are able to prescribe.  Lower doses or shorter lengths of treatment are recommended where possible.


PPI overuse

In Australia and in other countries Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) are known to be prescribed too often and used for too long without people having their treatment reviewed.  They are the second most commonly used type of medicine.  These medicines are very helpful for people suffering with symptoms of reflux but they can have side effects.  Some of these medicines are available over the counter as well as on prescription.


PPI side effects

  • Deficiencies in vitamin B12, calcium and magnesium
  • Kidney damage
  • Increased risk of osteoporotic fractures
  • Pneumonia
  • Gastric cancer
  • Dementia

This list is scary and serious side effects are rare but can occur and that is why it is important that treatment is reviewed.


Treatment review

Rather than people staying on the same dose of their PPI indefinitely it is recommended that, if they do not have symptoms, the dose is reduced with the aim of taking a lower dose of the medicine or being able to stop it altogether and just use it on an as needed basis.

If symptoms of reflux are occurring while a PPI is being used then these people will usually need to be seen by a specialist.


Ways to reduce reflux

  • Avoid or limit foods that cause reflux such as spicy/fatty foods, tea, coffee, alcohol
  • Avoid meals that are large and do not lit down after eating
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit the use of anti-inflammatories
  • Discuss with your Pharmacist or Doctor the possibility of other prescription medicines causing reflux


Happy belated Mother’s Day

Mother's day

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all of the Mums out there reading and supporting me every week.

My day was good and I hope yours was also. It was a very busy end of the week for me. I was fortunate enough to sneak a little nap on the lounge in the afternoon.


It felt really good to have that rest. Until the guilt and panic set in when I woke;


I haven’t done all the washing,


I still need to clean the floors,


What are we having for dinner?


What are the kids having for lunch on Wednesday?


Who did I have to call back?


What post do I have to write for Monday?


We didn’t dust the bedrooms


Where did I put the school uniforms?


Have I ironed yet?




Then all of a sudden I said to myself “STOP”!




You’ve had a good day, you’ve had a rest. Why?


Because I’m tired, bordering on exhausted.


Did I waste time sleeping when I could have been doing those things?


My mothering mind said yes.


My clinical mind said “no”




My Healthful Wisdom mind said “you haven’t wasted time. You’ve done what you needed”


My point for this week is that we are all busy, sometimes we don’t feel like we stop and then we beat ourselves up for it. There’s no need to do that though. Sometimes it’s what you need. It’s called recovering and it’s not a bad thing.


And do you know what? We’ve managed to get to work and school I’ve washed and ironed clothes, we’ve eaten and the house has been cleaned. My panic and guilt wasn’t needed. Do yourself a favour occasionally and have the rest that your body tells you is required- it might save you from burning yourself out!

Autism is not caused by MMR vaccination – more evidence

Autism is not caused by MMR vaccination

It has been shown previously that there is no link between receiving the Measles Mumps Rubella vaccination and autism.

Recent results of a study in Denmark, of more than 650 000 people, that lasted more than ten years have shown no link and this study went one step further.  It looked at those people who may be considered high risk for developing autism to see if there was a greater risk of them developing it.  No link between vaccination and autism was found in this group either.

The MMR vaccination was linked to autism in an article published in 1998 by a Doctor.  This Doctor was later deregistered due to falsifying data and conflicts of interest with his study.  As often happens when things are incorrectly reported in the media the damage had been done and people the world over became scared to vaccinate their children due to fear of causing autism.  Social media certainly played a role in perpetuating this myth that has not been shown in any of a number of studies.

Most of us have not seen a child suffering with Measles due to the large number of the population being immunised.  This can make some people complacent and think that vaccination may not be necessary.  It is important to remember that brain damage can occur with Measles.

Winter sport time

Winter sport time


Summer has finally (and sadly for me) ended. With this comes the psychological change of things getting colder. Less beach time, less daylight and cooler water if I feel like having a swim.

What this change of season does bring is the traditional winter sports; soccer, netball, rugby union, rugby league and AFL. There are also the ongoing touch football and various football “tag” competitions.

One of the most common injuries from all of these sports is the rolled or sprained ankle. There are various levels of seriousness for the injury, primarily they are a soft tissue injury that with the correct care and rehabilitation can have the athlete back on the field reasonably quickly.

One of the things becoming common place across many sports, particularly in junior sports, is the belief that wearing an ankle brace or using “preventative taping” will minimise the chance of injury. This can be an expensive and unnecessary exercise (pun intended) for an athlete who has never injured their ankle before. Proper training sessions allow our children/young athletes the opportunity to develop, build reflexes and react to movement and position of the body that occurs in their chosen sport. This is known as proprioception. If we brace or tape preventatively, we could be giving our children a crutch they don’t need. You don’t see children in kindergarten using a walker!

If they have injured an ankle seek medical advice. Do the proper rehabilitation exercises and there is every possibility that the ankle will be stronger than it was before. Why? Because the athlete has focussed on strengthening the soft tissue around the joint. Will they be using tape after the injury? That will depend on the specialists advice. It is likely but rarely a lifelong recommendation. Initial taping after exercise does help with the psychological confidence and proprioceptive awareness whilst recovering. Does it mean you need to tape it forever? Highly unlikely.

So why are many people encouraging kids to do this? We see all the highly paid athletes on television getting strapped up prior to the game or even mid game. They even have different coloured tape that looks cool! Unfortunately that’s where a lot of kids (and their parents) see this as the way it should be done. What you need to remember is that these athletes are paid a lot of money to play their sport and missing a game through injury could be detrimental to their season or sometimes their career. It is their profession, their job, and the only way many of them can make a living. Given the short time they can remain at the highest level, they will do anything they can to stay on the field or court.

What we don’t see is the years of training and competing that these athletes have gone through to get to that level. During that time there have been countless injuries, and due to the demand on them to continue, they play partially injured. This is why we see so many of them with practically every joint covered in tape or with a brace.

What we also rarely see is how their bodies are after they retire and the daily pain many of them go through. Many of you or your children may have the aspiration to make it as the next sporting superstar. That is something that you can encourage and if they do make it to that level they will have the best medical advice and assistance possible within their chosen sport. Remember that it is only 1% of the top 1% that make it to that elite level.

Encourage children to do the proper exercises and training to strengthen their bodies to help prevent those injuries and save your wallet.