Navigation Links
Better instructions reduce complications among patients using common blood thinner
Date:10/27/2008

PHILADELPHIA Patients who report receiving written and verbal instructions on the proper way to take the blood thinner warfarin are significantly less likely to suffer the serious gastrointestinal and brain bleeding problems that are associated with misuse of the drug, according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The study, published in the October issue Journal of General Internal Medicine, also shows that patients who see only one physician and fill their prescription at a single pharmacy are less apt to experience serious bleeding events.

Lead author Joshua P. Metlay, MD, PhD, an Associate Professor in Penn's division of General Internal Medicine and a Senior Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, found that patients who reported receiving medication instructions from a physician and a nurse plus a pharmacy worker were 60 percent less likely to experience a serious bleeding problem over the following two years. Since the serious side effects of warfarin use are often linked to hospitalizations, the Penn researchers theorize that improved patient communication -- which can help clarify questions about dosing, other drugs to avoid while taking warfarin, and early symptoms of bleeding problems -- could prevent a substantial number of injuries and resulting hospitalizations.

"While we do not know the specific mechanism linking the medication instructions to reduce bleeding risk, it is likely that improved communication about medications leads to increased drug adherence and earlier recognition of medication side effects," Metlay says.

Metlay's team, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE), studied 2,346 older adults taking warfarin for problems including heart rhythm abnormalities, deep vein thrombosis, stroke, heart valve replacements or pulmonary embolism. Using data provided by the Pennsylvania Healthcare Cost Containment Council, the researchers identified hospitalizations that were tied to warfarin-related bleeding events among the patients in the study.

The findings also indicate that the way patients receive instruction about their medicine matters. Compared to receiving no instructions beyond those printed on the prescription bottle, patients who said they had been given written information or written information plus verbal instructions were less apt to suffer bleeding events. Reports of verbal instruction alone, however, were not associated with a decreased risk of bleeding problems compared to patients who received no instructions. The Penn researchers say the findings underscore previous studies showing that thorough, honest communication between health care providers and patients is an important contributor to compliance with recommended therapies.

Since only 55 percent of participants in the study reported receiving any type of medication instructions from a doctor or nurse, Metlay and his colleagues say the impact on bleeding events among warfarin users could be slashed further if similar communication models were adopted more widely by physicians and pharmacists. New regulations requiring that all patients filling warfarin prescriptions receive a Medication Guide could help, and since pharmacists are now able to be reimbursed for time spent providing medication counseling to Medicare recipients, the authors are hopeful more patients will get helpful information about this drug.

The new research may also have implications for the broader health care community. While warfarin is one of the highest risk drugs routinely used in ambulatory care, these findings point to ways to improve provider-patient communication in ways that would better drug adherence and patient safety for many other medications and chronic medical conditions.

"It is time that we recognize that patients and their caregivers bear a substantial burden in managing increasingly complex medical regimens and require more guidance in this area," Metlay says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Conventional prognostic factors fail to explain better prostate cancer survival in most Asian men
2. Waist-to-hip ratio may better predict cardiovascular risk than body mass index
3. Informational handout key to giving parents a better understanding of CT radiation risks
4. Children of depressed moms do better when dad is involved, SLU researcher finds
5. Struggling male readers respond better to female teachers
6. Physician Skin Care Specialist Says Proposed New Rules for Sunscreen Products Will Better Protect the Public
7. Mothers Know Best: NFL Moms Team With Eddie George to Showcase a Better Way to a Healthier Lifestyle
8. Researchers Find Better Way to Deliver Blood Thinner
9. Clinical trials present better alternatives for dialysis patients
10. New nurses report job stress, need for better management
11. Hispanics hypertension better controlled with equal access to care
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws ... a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula ... , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals ... also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") the driving ... collagen and mineral based medical devices for tissue ... Messer has joined the company as Vice ... growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, orthopaedic and ... the Collagen Matrix executive team as an accomplished ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , ... Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, ... announced the five finalists of Lyme Innovation ... More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced ... Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their offering. ... Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart Structures, ... involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits that ... such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed upon ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: