Peter H's story: Living with multiple medicines

Find out about Peter H and hear him speak about the value and challenges of taking multiple medicines.

Age at interview: 71
Number of medicines: 5
Cultural background: Anglo-Australian



Peter is a retired physicist having worked as research manager in photographic products. He lives with his wife in Melbourne and frequently travels to visit his children and grandchildren in other parts of Australia and overseas.


Current medicines and conditions

Some medicines are taken regularly; some are taken only as needed.

  • Felodur (felodipine) (5 mg): treatment of hypertension
  • Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium) (200 mg): acid reflux
  • Coversyl (perindopril arginine) (4 mg): ACE inhibitor for treatment of hypertension
  • Cartia (low-dose aspirin) (100 mg): prophylaxis for prevention of TIA, ischaemic stroke and other thromboembolic disorders
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium): cholesterol-lowering medication


About Peter H

Peter is 71 years old and a retired physicist. He lives in Melbourne and his far-flung family means that he spends quite a bit of time travelling to visit them all. Apart from some acid reflux, Peter had been quite well until he suffered two minor strokes in his 60s. Three long-term medicines were introduced simultaneously to help prevent further strokes, but Peter has taken this in his stride. Not long after these episodes, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer, but following surgery and chemotherapy, he is now in remission. Peter has great confidence in his GP and, given his background as a physicist, he likes to take a scientific approach to things.

More about Peter H

For many years, Peter was in very good health and his only concession to medical care was the long-term use of a medication for acid reflux. A physicist, he retired 13 years ago, leads an active life and enjoys travelling and visiting his children and grandchildren.

In his 60s, he suffered two minor strokes which resulted in the addition of three new long-term medicines to his regimen. These medicines keep his hypertension and cholesterol levels in check. Peter has been fortunate in not experiencing any significant side effects from his medications. His only problem is remembering to take them and taking them at the appropriate time when travelling overseas in changing time zones. To assist with this, he has made use of a dosette box, which he fills once a week, and says the key thing is to make sure they are visible. As his grandchildren often come to visit, it can be challenging to keep his medications visible, but out of reach.

Peter has never liked taking medicines that he felt were unnecessary, but he has great confidence in his GP and if he has any concerns he will discuss these with his doctor.

As a scientist, Peter is somewhat sceptical of the benefits of many alternative or supplementary types of medication. He says it can be difficult at times when well-meaning friends make suggestions regarding what he should and should not take.

A few years after his strokes, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer for which he underwent a course of chemotherapy and is now in remission. Despite this, he still refers to himself as having ‘minor health problems’, as he has been able to accommodate his medication into his daily life quite easily. While he is not sure about the exact contribution his medicines make to his wellbeing, he can only comment that he has not had another stroke and continues to enjoy his life.


Listen to Peter H's story

The dosette box that Peter H uses is adequate for short trips away. He needs to be more careful about how much medicine he packs, and where in his luggage he stores it, when going on longer trips or overseas.
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Peter H has recently been able to stop one and reduce another of his medicines for high blood pressure.
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Peter H has a simple technique for working out when to take his medicines when he is overseas.
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Peter H has experienced a side effect from just one of his medicines and only once, which he attributes to an activity that he does not usually pursue.
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The Living with multiple medicines project was developed in collaboration with

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