The following is a synopsis of the article ‘Cautionary advisory labels in practice’, published in Australian Pharmacist, March 2015, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

Both those practicing or studying pharmacy in Australia will know that cautionary advisory labels serve to inform and enhance a consumer’s treatment. Their purpose is two-fold: to help pharmacists fulfill their legal and professional obligations; and to support verbal counselling.


There are two types of CALs:

Ancillary labels used to warn consumers of undesirable effects; or to advise consumers on the safe and correct use of the medicine. These are identifiable by numbers 1-24.

Additional instructions provide information with regards to appropriate storage and/or usage. These are identifiable by letters A-P.


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia maintains ownership of the CALs and CAL recommendations. All design specifications are based upon advice and information from Vision Australia.

New additions to CALs were made at the beginning of 2015. These changes represent a therapeutic protocol change or a clarification recommended by the CAL Working group to better assist consumers.


New labels include:

4b – Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking medicines for heartburn, reflux or indigestion.
23 – This product has been compounded by the pharmacist.
24 – FOR 3 DAY USE ONLY can cause addiction


Revised labels include:

4a – Do not take dairy products, antacids or mineral supplements within two hours of each dose of the medicine.
10b – DO NOT TAKE WITH ASPIRIN OR ANTI-INFLAMATORY MEDICINES while being treated with the medicine unless advised by your doctor.
21 – Special handling and disposal required – ask your pharmacist.


The full article is available for review here

Bagot Press and Bagot Pharmacy Supplies are a certified printer and distributor of CALs