Friday 2 December 2016

Patients suffer due to leaflets blunder

Published 12/05/2015 | 02:30

Lack of information on benefits is causing people to abandon medicine
Lack of information on benefits is causing people to abandon medicine

MEDICINE information leaflets which are failing to highlight the benefits of taking a drug - and not just the side effects - are contributing to worrying numbers of patients abandoning their treatments, a senior hospital pharmacist has warned.

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It is estimated up to half the people who are prescribed a medication for a long-term physical or mental illness are not taking the treatment as recommended, said Caroline Hynes of St John of God Hospital in Dublin.

Another study found up to three quarters of patients prescribed drugs for their mental health stop within a year.

While the reasons for non-adherence are complex, the lack of detail on the benefits of taking the medication in the information leaflets accompanying the box of tablets is one factor which is causing people to jettison the treatments, she said. "People are not fully aware of the positives. The leaflet is obliged to provide all the details about the associated risks and side effects but they may see only the warnings and precautions."

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