Navigation Links
Patients can't recall their medications to tell doctors
Date:10/11/2007

CHICAGO --- Doctors rely on patients to accurately tell them what prescription medications and what dosages -- they are taking in out-patient visits. (A patient's chart may not always be available or complete.) That information is essential for physicians to monitor whether a drug is working, and whether it may have adverse interactions with any new medications prescribed.

Depending on patients recall of their drugs, however, may be dangerous to their health.

New research from Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine has found that nearly 50 percent of patients taking antihypertensive drugs in three community health centers were unable to accurately name a single one of their medications listed in their medical chart. That number climbed to 65 percent for patients with low health literacy.

It was worse than we expected, said lead author Stephen Persell, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine, and of the Institute for Healthcare Studies at the Feinberg School, and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. It means doctors cant ask patients to tell them the medications they are taking for their chronic conditions like hypertension. Its very hard to get at the truth of what medications the patient is actually taking.

The study will be published in the November issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The Northwestern study looked at 119 patients, average age 55, from community health centers in Grand Rapids, Mich. Researchers asked them to name their antihypertensive drugs and then compared their answers to the drugs listed in their medical charts.

While the study focused on low-income patients, Persell said other patients likely have similar trouble recalling the names and dosages of all their medications, particularly those who take a lot of different drugs and the elderly, who may have cognitive limitations.

The gap between what medications a doctor thinks a patient is taking and what a patient actually takes is a new focus for improving the safety and quality of health care. One third of the nation's 1.5 million adverse drug events occur in out-patient settings, resulting in a cost of $1 billion annually. Persell thinks this "knowledge of medication gap" may be one of the causes.

The goal is "medication reconciliation," a term in the healthcare field that means patients and their healthcare providers understand and agree on the medications the patients are using and should be using.

Persell's study also showed patients with low health literacy were prescribed more antihypertensive medications than other patients and had higher blood pressure by about five points.

We think doctors may be prescribing more medications because the patients arent giving them the right information about what they are taking, he said.

Even examining patients medical records wont necessarily tell a doctor what pills a patient is swallowing. Persell said some patients continue to fill old prescriptions even if a doctor has changed the dosages or the medication.

Ive seen patients who continued on drugs that I told them to discontinue and stop taking drugs I never told them to stop using," Persell said.

The solution is to ask patients to bring all their current medicine bottles to doctor appointments, so the physician can compare them to what has actually been prescribed in the medical charts, Persell noted. That's how he learned a patient he had switched to a cheaper version of a drug continued to take the older expensive one along with the new one, so he was double dosing himself.

"This could have caused a dangerous drop in his heart rate and blood pressure," Persell said.

The Northwestern study indicates a need for future research to address how patients inability to name their medications -- particularly those with limited health literacy -- impacts hypertension control and drug safety, Persell said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marla Paul
Marla-Paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. One in Three Heart Attack Patients Have No Chest Pains
2. Amphetamines Help Recovery of Stroke Patients
3. Painkillers Do Not Shorten Dying Patients Lives
4. Patients With Filariasis More Prone To HIV Infection
5. Glivec - New Hope For CMC Patients
6. HIV infected patients can travel safely abroad
7. New vaccine helps allergy and asthma patients
8. Doctors operate upon patients in candlelight- latest from the quake scene
9. New vaccine helps allergy and asthma patients
10. Are cancer patients being taken for a ride?
11. Alternative medicine more popular among HIV positive patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Lewisville, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... in the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its ... be the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of ... of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even ... progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, ... out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control ... use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they are ... drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides quality ... and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for ... unmet needs, today announced the closing of its ... of common stock, at the public offering price ... in the offering were offered by GBT. GBT ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , June 24, 2016 ... a set of recommendations that would allow ... information (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage ... determine the "value" of new medicines. The ... that does not appear on the drug label, a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 According ... by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle ... GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - ... This report studies the market for the forecast period ... reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: