Don: Taking complementary medicines – Different views regarding complementary medicines

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

Age at interview: 70
Number of medicines: 5
Cultural background: Anglo-Australian

Don does not believe in complementary medicines, but he has family members and colleagues who would like him to try them. He has found a way to politely decline that people seem to accept.

I've had a number of people who give advice who really are not qualified or fully trained in that area. They've had a few weeks long course in this, that or the other and they seem to be the local expert on this, that or the other. And that's fine. I let them do their thing. But for me, I place my faith in my GP. It's not blind faith and I always have questions, as I said before, answered if I ask, but I think to myself, ‘You have been trained for years in this and if you don't know what you're doing, I think I've still got sufficient intelligence about me to work that out.’ I'll go and seek other advice, which I haven't had to do. So I trust my GP implicitly …

I politely listen to them and leave it at that. I don't suggest that they're off with the pixies or whatever. Whilst I … and some people obviously are more fully imbued in what they're talking about and maybe have a better scientific, pseudo-scientific background to it all, but I don't say, ‘No, no ...’ I just listen and go my own way. And certainly my wife has been very good in that sense as well. She's just accepted how I approached it all and not tried to push any other particular view.

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