Lyn: Starting and changing medicines – Starting a medicine with serious side effects

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

Age at interview: 67
Number of medicines: 1
Cultural background: British-Australian

Lyn’s specialist made it clear that the decision was hers whether to start a medicine that could have serious side effects. She was able to start it when she was ready.

When I first was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, my rheumatologist prescribed Plaquenil and I was on that for a couple of months and I wasn't getting any benefit. I was still in pain in the mornings when I woke up and my hands were getting really bad. He said, ‘OK, the next thing we do, we add to the Plaquenil some methotrexate. I will give you the CMI to take home and read and you can make the decision about whether you want to carry on, but I'll tell you that we've been using it for many, many years and it's very effective.’ 

So, I went home and thought about it and a month later I went back and said, ‘OK. I think I'm ready to start.’ Of course, I was started on a low dosage and then they just increased it over time and I don't get that many side effects. The day I take it, I don't know whether it's psychosomatic, but I always feel a bit rough, the day that I take it. And I feel a bit nauseous sometimes through the week even, but it's never bad enough that I would consider stopping it, because I can feel the benefit.

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