In one-on-one interviews with 700 Americans, roughly 23 percent reported loaning
their prescription medications to someone else, and 27 percent reported borrowing
prescription medications. The medications most frequently shared (loaned or
borrowed) were allergy drugs like Allegra (25 percent), followed by pain
medications like Darvoset and OxyContin (22 percent); and antibiotics like
amoxicillin (21 percent). Seven percent of those interviewed said they shared
mood-altering drugs like Paxil, Zoloft, Ritalin and Valium. A little more than 6
percent said they shared the prescription anti-acne drug Accutane and about 5
percent shared birth control pills.
The survey also showed that Whites (23 percent) and Hispanics (26 percent)
were more apt to share prescription pain medicines than were African Americans
(14 percent). Women were more apt than men to share antibiotics (24 percent vs.
12 percent). People seemed most willing to share prescription medicine when the
medication came from a family member, they had a prescription for a particular
medication but ran out of it or did not have it with them, or they had an
“Prescription medication sharing can lead to adverse outcomes at the societal
level through such consequences as ineffective use of the health system and
increased antibiotic resistance, and at the personal level through such effects as
decreased treatment efficacy and increased risk for side effects and drug
interactions,” the study’s authors said.
[From: Beyond Abuse and Exposure: Framing the Impact of Prescription-
Medication Sharing. Contact: Richard C. Goldsworthy, PhD, Academic Edge, Inc.,
Bloomington, Ind., firstname.lastname@example.org