Clearer medication labels will be introduced across Australia in an effort to stop accidental overdoses and help people with allergies.
Health Minister Sussan Ley said on Saturday that from September new regulations would be introduced to improve information about medicines on labels.
"Regulations for medicine labels in Australia have not been updated for more than 15 years and are not aligned with international practices. The current labelling can lead to poor medicine use and a number of medicine safety concerns," Minister Ley said.
"The new medicine labelling requirements will give Australian consumers clearer and more meaningful information about the medicines they buy and will provide Australian consumers with the clarity they deserve."
She said under the changes the active ingredients in medicines would be more prominent and also placed in a consistent location on the label.
In addition, to protect people with serious allergies, substances from crustaceans, fish, eggs, soya, milk and tree nuts would have to be declared for all types of medicines.
"These changes will also require that a space must be included for pharmacists to apply dispensing labels to prescription medicines," Ley added.
She said the medicine label changes will gradually appear on prescription medicines as well as medicines bought at pharmacists or in other retail outlets.