Messages to others who take multiple medicines

Listen to patients taking multiple medicines & their messages to other people on multiple medicines, & also to their family, friends & doctors.

We asked the people we spoke to if there is anything they would want to say to people who take multiple medicines, are starting to take the same medicines or are having problems with their medicines. Some people also had messages for health professionals, friends and families of people who take multiple medicines and we have included these here too.

Most people emphasise the need to become informed about medicines. In particular, asking questions of your doctors and other health professionals is considered a really important aspect of taking multiple medicines. One person we spoke to regularly asks her doctors to write down important points she needs to remember, particularly if she is feeling unwell or confused.

People we spoke to encourage users of multiple medicines, however, to also trust and value their own experience.


Engage with your health professionals

Micaela believes that people should view their own situation as important and worthy of respect. She encourages people to engage their health professionals in discussions about their medicines.

Niall thinks it a good idea to ask questions of health professionals to fully explore all the available options regarding medicines. He finds they welcome discussion with their patients.

Peter S encourages people to think of themselves as part of a team with their doctor and other health professionals and to ask questions of them and consider a Webster-pak.

Many people we spoke to note the importance of support from family, friends and doctors. They emphasise the need to be honest with them in order to be diagnosed correctly, receive the appropriate treatment and have the support that is vital to managing medicines effectively. Having a friend or family member with them at medical appointments when they are really unwell or confused is also indispensable.


Support from others

    Glenn believes support from the people around you is a vital component of managing multiple medicines successfully. He particularly encourages men to find the support they need.
  • Read transcript
  • Glenn's profile

Diana thinks the support of people around you and other people going through the same thing are extremely important.


Messages for supporters

Some people also have messages for health professionals and family and friends of people who are taking multiple medicines.

Glenn suggests to people close to those who are taking multiple medicines to be patient with them and to try to understand what they are going through.

Lyn would like doctors to keep in mind that multiple medicines can be confusing for older people in particular.

Micaela wants to emphasise to health professionals that communication with their patients is paramount.

Some people refer to their own experiences as examples from which other people can take courage in managing their medicines. Others note that it is worthwhile persevering through the difficult times with their medicines. Even when they are difficult or irritating to take, medicines are there to help people live a full life.


Think positively

Suzanne thinks it is important for people to remember the purpose of their medicines.

Don has had a good experience with his medicines, so he encourages people to be confident when starting a new medicine.

Niall found that the problems he initially had with his medicines were resolved and were worth working through because of the benefits gained by continuing with them.

Helen encourages people to look at their medicines as being a help, rather than something to avoid, and to view them in the context of their whole life and other things they can do to ease their conditions.

All health professionals emphasise how important it is to talk to your doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals if you are having problems or need information about your medicines.


Views of health professionals

Associate Professor Sarah Hilmer, clinical pharmacologist and geriatrician, encourages people to talk to their doctor to make sure they need to take all of their medicines and to ask for help with taking their medicines.

Emily Klopper, pharmacist, emphasises that pharmacists in particular are there to educate people about medicines.


What people also talk about


The Living with multiple medicines project was developed in collaboration with

Healthtalk Australia logo