ASHP survey finds Rx medication use high among Americans

February 5, 2001

ASHP surevey of medication use in US

 

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ASHP survey finds Rx medication use high among Americans

More than half (51%) of American adults take two or more medications each day, according to a new survey conducted by ASHP. The survey, conducted among 1,000 adults, focused on the usage of both prescription and nonprescription drugs and included a question on how the patient reports medication use when he or she enters the hospital. Some other findings included:

• Forty-six percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug daily; 28% take multiple Rx drugs daily.

• Eight percent of respondents said they do not inform hospital personnel about medications they are taking. Most respondents who report their medication use do so by telling a doctor or nurse (39%) or both (18%). Only 3% of respondents said they bring their meds with them to the hospital.

• Seventy-nine percent of respondents age 65 and over reported taking one Rx medication each day, compared with respondents age 55 to 64 (63%), age 45 to 54 (52%), and age 44 years or younger (28%). Americans over age 65 who take Rx drugs consume an average of four each day.

• Among respondents who reported use of a prescription medication in the previous week, the majority (61%) indicated the medication was for a long-term health condition. Twenty-four percent said they are treating a recurring health problem, while 10% indicated they are treating a short-term, acute health condition.

• Nearly one-third indicated they take an average of two nonprescription drugs each day.

• Thirty-nine percent of respondents reported taking an average of four herbal supplements or vitamins in the previous week.

Sandra Levy

 



Sandra Levy. ASHP survey finds Rx medication use high among Americans.

Drug Topics

2001;3:16.