Medication Adherence And Other Issues Encountered By Patients With Osteoporosis
Lai, P, and Chua, S.S., and Chan, S.P., (2005) Medication Adherence And Other Issues Encountered By Patients With Osteoporosis. Malaysian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 3 (2). pp. 70-70. ISSN 16575-7319
University of Malaya Medical Centre, Pharmacy Unit.
University of Malaya, Faculty of Medicine. Dept. of Pharmacy.
University of Malaya, Faculty of Medicine, Dept. of Medicine.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the adherence of patients with osteoporosis to their medications and to identify measures to improve it.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective observational study.
METHOD: Patients who attended the osteoporosis clinic of University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) from March 2004 to February 2005 were included. Patients were interviewed by a clinical pharmacist, supplied with osteoporosis medications and interviewed again two months later.
RESULTS: A total of 294 patients were included in this study. The most commonly prescribed osteoporosis medications were alendronate (88.0%), followed by calcium supplements (65.5%), calcitriol (9.9%), raloxifene (3.9%), and hormone replacement therapies (2.9%). In addition, 70.4% of the patients were taking complementary medicines such as vitamin C, B, multivitamins and glucosamine. Only 170 (57.8%) patients took their osteoporosis medications exactly as instructed. In general, reasons for non-adherence were: forgetfulness, away from home, busy with other things and side effects. The most commonly reported side effect was gastrointestinal disturbances. Demographic data of patients, diagnosis, knowledge of patients, and the total number of medications prescribed were not significantly associated with alendronate and calcium adherence (p>0.05). Only 42.9% of the patients knew the name of their medications. For patients on alendronate, the mean score of patients' knowledge on osteoporosis and alendronate was 68.9 ± 13.4%. The most common question asked by the patients was how to take their alendronate. However, 69.6% patients believed that their quality of life was good.
CONCLUSIONS: Only 57.8% of the patients took their medications exactly as instructed. Patients'knowledge on osteoporosis and their medications required improvement. This indicates a need for pharmacists to counsel these patients.
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