Trends in prescription medication sharing among reproductive-aged women

August 25, 2008

New Rochelle, NY, August 25, 2008--Borrowing and sharing of prescription medications is a serious medical and public health concern. A survey of nearly 7,500 women of reproductive age found that this is common practice among more than one-third of this population, according to a report published online ahead of print in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The paper is available free online at http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/jwh.2007.0769

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

In a paper entitled "Prescription Medication Borrowing and Sharing among Women of Reproductive Age," Emily Petersen, Sonja Rasmussen, Katherine Daniel, Mahsa Yazdy, and Margaret Honein, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, Atlanta, Georgia) and Oak Ridge Institute for Science & Education (Oak Ridge, Tennessee), report that allergy medications (43.8%) and pain medications (42.6%) were the types of drugs most commonly borrowed or shared by reproductive-aged women.

The authors emphasize 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, MD, 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."
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Journal of Women's Health is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. The Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women's healthcare issues. Journal of Women's Health is the Official Journal of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA; www.amwa-doc.org).

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research including Obesity Management, Breastfeeding Medicine, Thyroid, Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, and Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 60 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available at www.liebertpub.com

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 140 Huguenot Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801 www.liebertpub.com
Phone: (914) 740-2100 (800) M-LIEBERT Fax (914) 740-2110

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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