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Prescription and over-the-counter pain medication in arthritis: awareness of active ingredients and attitudes to medication borrowing and sharing

Ellis, Janette, Mullan, Judy R, Weston, Kathryn M, Rich, Warren, Lethbridge, Alistair, Worsley, Anthony and Pai, Nagesh B 2015, Prescription and over-the-counter pain medication in arthritis: awareness of active ingredients and attitudes to medication borrowing and sharing, Journal of pharmacy practice and research, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 10-17, doi: 10.1002/jppr.1070.

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Title Prescription and over-the-counter pain medication in arthritis: awareness of active ingredients and attitudes to medication borrowing and sharing
Author(s) Ellis, Janette
Mullan, Judy R
Weston, Kathryn M
Rich, Warren
Lethbridge, Alistair
Worsley, Anthony
Pai, Nagesh B
Journal name Journal of pharmacy practice and research
Volume number 45
Issue number 1
Start page 10
End page 17
Total pages 8
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng
Publication date 2015-03
ISSN 1445-937X
Keyword(s) prescription
over the counter medications
pain
Summary Background:
Many Australians with arthritis self-manage their pain with prescription and/or over-the-counter pain medications, containing paracetamol. If taken appropriately, these medications are relatively safe; however, if mismanaged through patients' iinability to understand medication labels and instructions, these medications may cause adverse drug events and/or toxicities.
Aim:
This study explored the prescription and over-the-counter pain medications most commonly used by people with arthritis and the ability of these patients to correctly identify paracetamol as an active ingredient in commonly available preparations. The study also investigated the functional health literacy of these patients and their inclination to borrow and/or share pain medications.
Method:
Adult participants diagnosed with arthritis were invited to complete an anonymous survey which included questions about their prescription and over-the-counter pain medications; their medication borrowing and sharing behaviours; their functional health literacy; and their knowledge about preparations containing paracetamol as an active ingredient.
Results:
Most of the 254 participants used analgesic agents containing paracetamol, as combination tablets (paracetamol 500 mg and codeine 30 mg) or paracetamol-only tablets (paracetamol 665 mg) to self-manage their pain. Respondents with low functional health literacy scores were significantly less likely to identify paracetamol as an active ingredient in both combination and paracetamol-only pharmaceutical products, and were more likely to guess or did not know how to identify that paracetamol was an active ingredient in these products. Almost 30% of the respondents indicated that they had and/or intended to borrow/share their over-the-counter
pain medications whereas less than 10% suggested that they had and/or intended to borrow/share their prescription pain medication.
Conclusion:
Australians with arthritis, especially those with low functional health literacy scores, self-managing their pain with paracetamol-containing products, do not always recognise paracetamol as an active ingredient in combination products, and may risk potential paracetamol-related adverse effects and/or toxicities.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/jppr.1070
Field of Research 111503 Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice
Socio Economic Objective 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30073277

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Created: Thu, 14 May 2015, 11:10:49 EST

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