Emma: Organising and storing medicines – Storing medicines in the original packaging

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

Age at interview: 41
Number of medicines: 19
Cultural background: Anglo-Australian

Emma chooses to keep her medicines in the original packaging to prevent accidentally taking too many of a medicine. She uses a medication organiser when she travels.

I definitely store them in boxes. With my … if I do go on holidays, I don’t like to take the boxes. I will pack them in like a seven-day pack, so will cut them up, still leave them in the blister but just cut around the particular tablet and put them like morning and evening in a seven-day sort of dosette box. 

It’s not error-free. I have stuffed up before and actually put one painkiller too many in one box instead of putting it, or maybe putting it in the morning instead of the evening or something. I have actually before taken it … because I will particularly look at what I'm taking. I’ve sort of thought ‘oh, better not take that’ because I know if I take two of those in a day it's going to make me quite ill. So I think it's generally safer to leave things in their box. 

But when you're taking a large amount of medicines like me for travelling just for a weekend or something, it is a lot of weight for me to carry. It’s probably half a … it's definitely backpack bullseyes; it is a lot of extra things rather than just a small container. Occasionally we'll use little photographic containers, the little film boxes, just to put things in if I'm going away overnight because that's just a small kind of thing to take. Yes, you can't put your refrigerated items in that. So you do have to be careful and just make sure you take an ice pack with you and put it in a thermal kind of bag like a fridge bag.

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