Majority make mistakes with meds

Fifty-seven per cent of Australians have made a mistake with their medicines in the past 12 months, according to new research by NPS.

A survey of 1205 people found that 44 per cent said they had forgotten to take a dose, and one in four had taken a medication without food when they were directed to take it with food.

Other mistakes reported included taking a higher or lower dose than prescribed or accidentally taking the wrong medicine.

Released to coincide with the start of NPS' Be Medicinewise Week 2012, clinical adviser Danielle Stowasser said the results show how important it is that people pay more attention to their medicines.

Last year, NPS launched an app that allows users to maintain a medications list on their iPhone or other iOS device.

The application, developed with the assistance of Creative Licence Digital, allows users to track the brand, active ingredients, strength and dosage of their medicines, including prescription, over the counter and complementary medicines.

As well as capturing textual information, the app allows the user to take photos of each medication’s packaging, dispensing label, and the medication itself, with these photos categorised in separate fields within each medication’s record.

It recently added a reminder function to the app to allow people to schedule prompts to remind them to take their medicine.

As part of the upgrade, users can also record whether they took their medicine on time, and if not, why not.

“For example, you may have missed a dose or several doses because you were nauseous, and by making use of the Medicines List app and recording each time this occurs, your doctor may adjust your medicine or help suggest ways for you to avoid the side effect,” Dr Stowasser said.

The NPS Medicines List iPhone app has been downloaded more than 9000 times since its launch in mid 2011.

As part of the Be Medicinewise Week's activities, NPS is launching a variety of resources and new information for consumers, including the Medicinewise Challenge, a five-question online quiz that delves into some crucial things people need to know about medicines.

All participants will go into a random draw with three winners selected to win an iPad.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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