Karen: Problems with multiple medicines (I) – Side effects (1)

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

Age at interview: 37
Number of medicines: 8
Cultural background: Anglo-Australian

Karen experienced such a severe side effect from one of the first pain relievers she tried that she reached a compromise between managing the pain enough to be able to do things and minimising the side effects.

But it made me incredibly nauseous and I decided that I would rather [have] not as good pain relief, but I could function better in a bit of pain, rather than the OxyContin at that time, which just made me really sick. I had it again after the surgery and I didn't have the same effects then, but when I tried it before the surgery, yeah ... I think they tried it over one weekend and I ... just being in bed thinking, ‘Oh my God! If I move, I'm going to be sick!’ I've never felt so sick before, I don't think. So I decided to just stay with the other combination. I could function better. I was in more pain, but at that time, I was working two days a week and trying to finish a Master's degree.

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