Background Prescription medication borrowing and sharing is a behaviour
that has been identified in patients of all ages. This behaviour
is recognised by medical researchers and government health
authorities as a potential risk factor in adverse drug events across
Objective This article discusses prescription medication borrowing and sharing
and identifies populations more likely to participate in this behaviour.
It also focuses on the classes of drugs identified in the research
literature as those being more likely to be borrowed or shared.
Discussion Prescription medication borrowing and sharing behaviours have
been associated with several risk factors such as polypharmacy
and multiple chronic comorbidities. General practitioners and health
professionals are therefore encouraged to counsel patients, at the
time of issuing prescriptions and following discharge from hospital,
on the risks of borrowing and sharing prescription medications and
the safe disposal of ‘left over’ prescription medications.
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