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Patients May Be Modifying Meds Due to Trouble Swallowing

Some consumers do not consult health professionals if they experience problems, before modifying meds

THURSDAY, April 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Some patients experience difficulties swallowing and modify medication dosage forms, without necessarily consulting health professionals, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

Esther T.L. Lau, Ph.D., from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of swallowing difficulties and medication dosage form modification among community pharmacy consumers. Three hundred sixty-nine consumers were recruited from five community pharmacies and invited to participate in a structured interview.

The researchers found that 16.5 percent of participants reported experiencing difficulties in swallowing, and 10.6 percent reported modifying medication dosage forms. About half of those surveyed (44.2 percent) thought there would be no issues with medication dosage form modification. Regardless of their thoughts about issues associated with these practices, some consumers reported that they would not seek advice from health professionals on experiencing swallowing problems and/or before modifying their medication dosage forms.

“Some consumers appeared to be accustomed to modifying medication dosage forms, even when there was no apparent or obvious need. People were also reluctant to seek advice from health professionals regarding swallowing difficulties, or modifying medication dosage forms,” the authors write. “Health professionals must be assertive in educating consumers about swallowing problems, and medication dosage form modification.”

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