Infrequent medicine users most likely to stop course of medicine

Forefront

Date: 24 August 2016

A recent survey has found those who take fewer medicines are more likely to stop a course of medicine early without seeking a health professional’s advice compared to those who take medicines more often.

The survey by NPSMedicineWise, coinciding with Be Medicinewise Week (22-28 August), shows occasional users of medicines—including prescription, over-the-counter, and alternative or complementary forms of medicines—are potentially not getting the full benefits from their medicines.

People who take medicines less often or who take fewer medicines are more likely to stop a course of medicine early without speaking to the health professional that prescribed the medicine. They are also less likely to follow instructions relating to their medicines.

The survey showed that of all respondents 15 per cent do not take their medicines as instructed. This means they don’t follow exact instructions, missed doses or used leftover medicines from a previous prescription.

“In those who take medicines less often than daily, this figure rises to 28 per cent, and in those who take only one medicine per week it is 20 per cent,” the survey found.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of people aged 18-24 and 25-34 don’t always take their medicines as instructed. This is compared to 17 per cent of 35-49 year olds, 10 per cent of 60-64 year olds and 3 per cent of those aged 65+.

NSPMedicineWise says being more medicine wise includes “always following instructions from your health professional, reading the labels and packaging of your medicines carefully”.

Learn more about the survey and the Be Medicine Wise campaign by visiting the NPSMedicineWise website

Contact: Chris Davis

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