Brian: Benefits and disadvantages – What a high number of medicines signifies

Listen to patients and health professionals speak about their experience with taking multiple medicines.

Age at interview: 75
Number of medicines: 16
Cultural background: Anglo/Irish-Australian

Brian’s medicines remind him that he has a number of health conditions every time he takes them. He also finds that having to be in a routine with medicines and adapting that as needed can be tiresome.

I think the worst thing about the medicine is having to take them. That's fairly basic, I know, but that is it … to think that your wellbeing is dependent on this handful of tablets that you take each day and that, if you don't take it, your health is going to deteriorate and worse things can happen. 

The thing that I fear most, which motivates me to curb my appetites for sweet things, is an amputation and that is something that causes some fear, particularly if ... and I feel a little tingling in my toes and I think to myself, ‘Whoops!’ [laughs] I must be doing something wrong. 

I don't find it unpleasant, except for the bad taste every now and then that I have. I think the fact that I have to go and visit a doctor, the fact that I have to go and get my prescriptions, the fact that I have to take them. That is all onerous! But apart from that, I don't see anything that you can do.

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The Living with multiple medicines project was developed in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia.