Prescription Medication Sharing

A survey of nearly 7,500 women of reproductive age found that this is common practice among more than one-third of the U.S. population, according to a recently published report.

A study designed to describe patterns of prescription medication borrowing and sharing among various groups of adults revealed that women of reproductive age (18 to 44 years) are more likely to report this practice (36.5 percent) than are other aged women (19.5 percent). In the overall survey of more than 25,000 women and men, 28.8 percent of women and 26.5 percent of men reported ever borrowing or sharing prescription medications.

In the paper entitled "Prescription Medication Borrowing and Sharing among Women of Reproductive Age" that is available free online the authors report that allergy medications (43.8 percent) and pain medications (42.6 percent) were the types of drugs most commonly borrowed or shared by reproductive-aged women.

The authors emphasise some of the risks involved in using another person's prescription drugs, including unanticipated side effects, complications of incorrect use, drug-drug interactions, antibiotic resistance, and risk of addiction. Of great importance for reproductive-aged women is the risk of teratogenic effects on a developing embryo or fetus if the women were to become pregnant while taking the medication.

"This study confirms what many health care providers suspect," says Susan G. Kornstein, Medical Doctor, Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, in Richmond, VA. "It is clear that patients need to be counseled about the potential risks of sharing and borrowing medications, especially if they are women of reproductive age."

MEDICA.de; Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News