Navigation Links
Most prescription labels fail to meet guidelines, risking dosage errors
Date:7/9/2014

Small print and poor printing on prescription labels handed out by pharmacists may be misread and may lead to errors in taking medication, according to new research by the University of Waterloo and CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind).

The study, published recently in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal, found that labels on prescription medications dispensed by pharmacies do not consistently follow professionally recommended guidelines for legibility.

By simply following recommended guidelines for font size, use of bolding, justification, sentence case and spacing, researchers expect pharmacies can improve the legibility of their labels without the need for new technologies or larger labels.

"Surprisingly, there are few guidelines and no regulations for the print on prescription labels in Canada," said Dr. Sue Leat from Waterloo's School of Optometry and Vision Science. "In Ontario, regulations specify only the content of prescription labels, not how they appear."

Health professionals and patients are finding label appearance is more important as a significant number of older Canadians experience vision and reading comprehension problems. Patients also prefer to read their own prescriptions to preserve their privacy and independence.

Researchers asked 45 pharmacies in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge to print a sample prescription label with the patient's name, drug name and instructions for use. The sample label was then compared with label printing recommendations from pharmaceutical and health organizations, and non-governmental organizations for readability.

The results show that less than half 44 per cent of labels met the minimum font size of 12 points. Only half of labels were printed left-justified and few met the recommendations for best use of spacing.

All labels used capital lettering, which is difficult for patients with eye problems to read, instead of the recommended sentence case.

More than 90 per cent of labels followed guidelines for font style, contrast, black print and non-glossy paper.

"The research shows that factors such as font size, sentence alignment, case and contrast can impact the readability of the label," said Professor Carlos H. Rojas-Fernandez from Waterloo's School of Pharmacy and a Schlegel Research Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy. "We expect that addressing these factors together will improve the accessibility of prescription labels. We need to move from a pharmacy-centred labelling standard, to a patient-centred one."

This is the first collaborative research project between Waterloo's School of Pharmacy and School of Optometry and Vision Science and was funded by the CNIB Baker Fund.

"CNIB helps thousands of Canadians with vision loss maintain their independence," said Deborah Gold, a study co-author and national director, research and program development at CNIB. "In order to do this and eliminate potentially dangerous medication accidents, we need to raise this issue amongst our colleagues in the pharmacy community."

Recommended guidelines considered in this study came from the US Pharmacopeia (USP), the American Society for Consultant Pharmacists, the National Patient Safety Agency in the UK, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK, and the American Council of the Blind (ACB).

The researchers plan to develop a prototype pharmaceutical label and test its readability and accuracy and use a questionnaire to survey pharmacists and patients (with and without visual impairments).


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Manning
nmanning@uwaterloo.ca
519-888-4451
University of Waterloo
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Death by prescription painkiller
2. President Clinton to open town hall on prescription drug abuse at Johns Hopkins University
3. Prescriptions for opioids stabilizing after fivefold increase in 10-year span
4. In fight against teen prescription drug abuse, one-two punch wins
5. Mobile Health Prescription Discount Cards Saved Users 67% in 2013 off Prescription Costs
6. Newark Treatment Center Announces Program to Battle Prescription Drug Substance Abuse
7. Seattle Drug Detox Center Launches New Program to Help People Stop Dependency on Cocaine, Heroin and Prescription Drugs
8. Lipitor Lawsuit News: Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes Criticism of New Statin Guidelines That Could Result in Millions of New Lipitor Prescriptions
9. US Prescription Drug Market Worth $457.3 Billion by 2021 Says Healthcare Policy Update Report at RnRMarketResearch.com
10. The FDA is Pushing For Greater Restrictions on Prescription Painkillers: Now what?
11. Prescription opioid abusers prefer to get high on oxycodone and hydrocodone
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Rosica ... media relations, content marketing, social media management, corporate communications, SEO and cause marketing, ... state and in nearby New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Canada, Rosica will focus on ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... will host a diverse symposium on “Doping in Sport: How the ... Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. The symposium will be held at Pepperdine ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... interactive publication where generations converge and explore the world from different perspectives. By ... Magazine enables readers to gain understanding, increase empathy, and find greater happiness. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... that it will soon begin franchising throughout the U.S. starting this spring. Current ... bring the practice of meditation mainstream. Current Meditation will be the first meditation ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Lincoln, RI (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 ... ... announced today a new partnership with the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research ... provide an opportunity for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to see films ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Südkorea, 23. Februar 2017 LG Innotek ... Sterilisationsaufgaben vorgestellt. Die Sterilisationsleistung beträgt das 1,5-fache des 45-mW-Moduls ... Strahlung im Bereich zwischen 200 und 280 nm und eignet ... Bakterien, indem es ihre DNA zerstört. Das Produkt von ... ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Im Rahmen seiner Schlüsselwachstumsstrategie arbeitet die ... südwestlichen chinesischen Provinz Guizhou, 2017 mit dem Angebot von Anreize ... der Entwicklung einer eingebetteten Hightech-Schlüsselindustrie. Foto - ... ... ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... New York , February 23, 2017 ... implications arising from increasing caseload for varicose veins in ... across the globe are prompting the adoption of endovenous ... study on global endovenous laser therapy market, ... towards aftereffects of lifestyle choices and consequences of obesity ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: