Navigation Links
Many Americans Share Prescription Meds
Date:4/29/2008

Roughly a quarter of those asked had borrowed, given away allergy pills, antibiotics and painkillers

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- If you've ever shared your allergy medicines, antibiotics or even painkillers to a family member or friend, you've got plenty of company: A new survey suggests many give away their prescription medicines or borrow them from others.

However, this can be an extremely bad idea, experts say. Prescription drugs, after all, are prescribed for a reason: Because a doctor or pharmacist needs to play a role in their use.

In the case of shared antibiotics, "we've managed to document that this is a real public health risk," said study author Richard Goldsworthy, CEO and director of research and development for The Academic Edge company in Bloomington, Ind.

Goldsworthy's company came up with the idea for their survey while studying whether prescription warning labels should urge some users to not share their medication. Would the labels be effective?

"There wasn't a whole lot of data on it," Goldsworthy said. "So we decided if we were going to ask the question, we needed to look more broadly at the entire issue, find out who's sharing."

In 2006, researchers interviewed 700 people aged 12 to 44 in several large U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Atlanta, among others. In the one-on-one interviews, the researchers asked the subjects about their use of medications.

The findings are published in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said they had never borrowed medications from others or shared their own. However, 23 percent said they'd shared their medications with others, and 27 percent had borrowed them; 16 percent had done both.

About 22 percent reported shared pain medications, and 7 percent said they'd shared mood-altering medications. A quarter said they'd shared allergy medications, and almost 21 percent reported sharing antibiotics.

The latter number is worrisome, because patients shouldn't have any antibiotics left over after a prescribed course of treatment, Goldsworthy said. In addition, he said, overuse of antibiotics is contributing to the rise of germs that are immune to many drugs.

"Don't share antibiotics," Goldsworthy advised. "You shouldn't have any leftover. You should have finished them all yourself."

In some cases, however, sharing drugs may not be very risky, Goldsworthy said, and is done for "pretty reasonable reasons."

"I happen to share some painkillers, because I have a bad toothache, I'm sneezing, and my mother-in-law has a prescription medicine while we're on a trip," he explained.

In general, he said," people share for a variety of reasons. They share because it's convenient, because they want to fix a problem. And they share for thrill-seeking, like when they get pain and mood-altering medications."

Should prescription medications come with warning labels telling users to not share them? Goldsworthy isn't sure, especially considering that medications already have plenty of warning labels. "It would just get loss in the sea of other ubiquitous messaging that ends up on pharmaceutical packaging," he said.

More information

The FDA has details about using medicine properly.



SOURCES: Richard Goldsworthy, Ph.D., CEO and director, research and development, The Academic Edge, Bloomington, Ind.; June 2008, American Journal of Public Health


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Many Older Americans Have Active Sex Lives
2. Despite grumbling, most Americans say they are happy at work
3. Record Number of Americans Lack Health Insurance
4. AUDIO from Medialink and Pfizer: Number of Uninsured Americans Grows to 47 Million
5. New Survey Shows Americans are Still Concerned About Food Safety, Yet Still Not Smart About What They Like to Eat
6. Amid Improving Life Expectancy Rates, Risk of Premature Death is Still Significant for Americans, New Study Shows
7. AOA President Calls on Congress to Reauthorize SCHIP and Take Action to Ensure Health Care Coverage for All Americans
8. National Council on Disability Urges Congress to Support Americans with Disabilities Act Restoration
9. Few Americans Know of Leg Artery Danger
10. More Americans Urged to Get Flu Shots
11. Pelosi: Todays Sweeping, Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Drug Safety is a Victory for All Americans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Many Americans Share Prescription Meds
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of ... popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation ... scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology ... Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will ... during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual ... F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts ... Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology ... of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... wound care advancements to physician colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors and other ... Treacherous Waters of Wound Care." , "At many of these conferences we get ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans ... advance the use of wearable and home sensors for ... disorders. Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on ... will provide an affordable analytical system to record and ... ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in ... immune-engineering today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology ... personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 ... to enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy ... EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a ... targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: