Prescription Medicines Frequently Shared, Survey Finds

Research published in the June 2008 issue of the monthly American Journal of Public Health indicates prescription medicines are frequently shared. Researchers conducted one-on-one interviews with 700 participants across the country and found 22.9 percent of the participants reported they had loaned their prescription medications to someone else and 26.9 percent reported borrowing prescription medications.

Medications shared most often were allergy medications, pain medications, and antibiotics, according to the study's authors. The contact for "Beyond Abuse and Exposure: Framing the Impact of Prescription-Medication Sharing," is Richard C. Goldsworthy, Ph.D., of Academic Edge, Inc. in Bloomington, Ind., who can be contacted via e-mail to rick@academicedge.com.

"Prescription medication sharing can lead to adverse outcomes at the societal level through such consequences as ineffective use of the health system and increased antibiotic resistance and at the personal level through such effects as decreased treatment efficacy and increased risk for side effects and drug interactions," the authors stated. For more information about contents of the June issue of the journal, visit www.apha.org.

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