Where can I find information about medicines?

You can find reliable information from many sources - for example package leaflets, medical professionals and medical authorities.

From the medicine package

• The medicine package has information such as the name, active substance and strength of the medicine written on it, as well as indication as to whether the medicine is a tablet, solution or ointment, for example.

• Over-the-counter medicines have the purpose and instructions of use written on the medicine package.

• Prescription medicines have a prescription label attached to them in the pharmacy that shows the instructions of use for the medicine written by the doctor.

• It is important to check the medicine's use by date and potential storage instructions from the medicine package.

• The information on the medicine package has been provided by the pharmaceutical company and approved by the authorities.

From the package leaflet

• It is advisable to read the package leaflet inside the package before starting to use the medicine and keep it for reference for any questions that may later arise.

• It is particularly important to read the intended use of the medicine, the instructions for use and other considerations, such as potential contraindications for the use of the medicine.

• Some of the adverse reactions listed in the package leaflet are rare and only occur with few users.

• The leaflet also indicates the potential ways to prevent the adverse reactions.

• The package leaflet is written by the pharmaceutical company, which is why the leaflets of medicines that contain the same medicinal substance might differ slightly from one another.

• The package leaflet texts have also been approved by the authorities.

From healthcare professionals

• Your medicinal treatment is discussed with the doctor when a prescription medicine is prescribed for you.

• At pharmacies, a pharmacist will provide instruction and guidance on the correct and safe use of the medicine.

• Nurses will also provide patients with instruction and guidance on the use of the medicine.

• In cases of medicine-related poisoning, it is advisable to contact the Poison Information Centre, and in questions related to the use of medicines during pregnancy, the Teratology Information Service.

• Healthcare professionals have appropriate training and reliable sources of information at their disposal based on which they are able to provide reliable and impartial information about medicines.

From the Internet

• A wealth of reliable and proper information can be found on the Internet, but also information that is questionable.

• The web pages of patient associations provide information about diseases and their treatment in a clear and understandable form.

• Product-specific information about medicines can be found from the web pages of pharmaceutical companies.

• Medicines-related information can also be found from the web pages maintained by the authorities, such as the Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland Kela

• The following matters should be considered when the reliability of the pages is assessed:

o Who maintains the pages?

o When have the pages been updated?

o What is the information presented on the pages based on? Is the information based on research or similar reliable evidence or, for example, on a private individual’s personal experience?

• You can also assess the reliability of the information with the help of the DARTS checklist that is available on the Fimea website.

Further Information

Current Care Guidelines, also in patient versions, are available on the website of the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim.

The Terveyskirjasto health library provides information about health, diseases and treatment of symptoms as well as the ‘Lääketietoa verkossa’ link collection that directs to reliable sources of pharmaceutical information in Finnish (use ”lääketieto” as the search term in the health library).

The Tunne lääkkeesi ‘Know your medicine’ page on Facebook, maintained in collaboration by pharmaceutical industry operators and patient associations, provides reliable pharmaceutical information.