Prescriptions for confusion

Published: October, 2007

Some retailers have improved the pill bottle, but the written information that comes with medications is confusing.

Ideally, people would leave the doctor's office or the pharmacy with a clear understanding of their prescription medication — how much to take, when to take it, the risks, the benefits. But in reality, many conversations about prescriptions are incomplete. A study published in 2006 found that physicians explain the adverse effects and duration of a drug therapy in only about a third of their discussions with patients. Only about half the time did they instruct their patients about the number of tablets to take.

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