SSRIs and opioids more than double the risk of hip fracture

Research shows an increased risk of hip fracture for patients taking SSRIs, opioids, benzodiazepines and antipsychotics when used in isolation or combined. The latest release Medicines: the hidden contributor to falls and hip fractures focuses on reducing the adverse impact of medicines. To find out more, visit Falls Prevention


DVA Wound Care Module


The Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has updated its Wound Care Module. DVA has partnered with medical specialists to provide comprehensive information on the identification and treatment of wounds typically suffered by the veteran population. It includes a quick reference guide, The Wound Identification and Dressing Selection Chart. The DVA Wound Care Module is available at:

This coincides with the latest release of Veterans’ MATES, Wound management: Putting the pressure on venous leg ulcers and reducing the risk of skin tears. This topic highlights the importance of using compression therapy for the treatment and prevention of venous leg ulcers, and the application of a moisturiser twice a day to reduce the risk of skin tears in older veterans. To find out more, visit Wound care.

New Australian Pulmonary Rehabilitation Guidelines


Pulmonary rehabilitation is an evidence based, multidisciplinary intervention that is strongly recommended for patients with COPD irrespective of the severity or stage of their disease. The first Australian and New Zealand Pulmonary Rehabilitation Guidelines were released in February 2017 providing a summary of evidence and key recommendations

This release coincides with the latest Veterans’ MATES, Keeping your COPD patients well this winter. This topic highlights the interventions that can help prevent exacerbations and improve the wellbeing of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It also includes Setting up a pulmonary rehabilitation program, which outlines how to set up a program using locally available resources.

For more information about the latest release, visit Keeping your COPD patients well this winter.

Not sure of the Home Medicines Review process?

A Home Medicines Review (HMR), conducted by an accredited pharmacist in collaboration with the patient, can help patients better understand, organise and safely manage their medicines in the home.

The latest release of Veterans’ MATES includes information about the HMR process including:

  • How will an HMR benefit my patient
  • Who is eligible for an HMR and the patients most likely to benefit
  • How to get the best out of the HMR for your patient
  • How the pharmacist can simplify a dosing schedule during an HMR

See Not sure of the Home Medicines Review process?

For more information about the latest release which focuses on steps to reduce a complex medicine regimen and how a HMR can help, visit Pausing to review the medicine regimen

Dementia Awareness

This Veterans’ MATES release recognised the important role families and carers play in supporting those living with dementia.

In September 2016, materials were distributed to over 5,000 doctors, 8,400 pharmacists and 2,500 aged care facilities to help support veterans living with dementia and their carers. As part of the launch a carer’s brochure was provided to health professionals to distribute to carers. The brochure gave practical ideas about what might help when changes in behaviour arose and highlighted the services available to support carers and families. To find out more, visit Dementia and changes in behaviour.

Latest Veterans’ MATES research looks at anticholinergic medicines and the risk of confusion

Recent Veterans’ MATES research has found that taking more anticholinergic medicines is associated with greater risk of hospitalisation for confusion or dementia. This research helped inform our recent topic “Thinking clearly about the anticholinergic burden”.

Would like to find out more?

Visit our publications page for a full list of Veterans’ MATES academic publications

Remember to always talk to your doctor before starting, changing or stopping a medicine, including complementary or herbal medicines.

Are you a GP wanting electronic access to your Veterans’ MATES materials?

Keep Veterans’ MATES at your fingertips by registering for access to the secure website.

To take advantage of this service, please see your latest Veterans MATES letter for your log-in details and then go to GP login on this site to register.

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Current Topic
Proton Pump Inhibitors (Aug 2018)
About one in five of us have heartburn from gastro-oesophageal reflux at one time or another. A short course of a medicine such as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) can be very effective for relieving these symptoms. If you have been taking a proton pump inhibitor for longer than eight weeks for heartburn, ask your GP whether you still need it. They might suggest that you take a lower dose or take a dose only if you have symptoms.
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Veterans' MATES Report 2016 - 2017 Improving care of older veterans

Our latest report provides an overview of the Veterans’ MATES program’s recent achievements, and the impact of initiatives in keeping veterans healthy.

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