A new study shows that one in five U.S. adolescents “lends” or “borrows” diverse prescriptions, with consequences that are sometimes dangerous or even deadly.

Earlier research had established that almost 40 percent of U.S. adults “lend” or “borrow” prescription drugs.

“However, prior to our study, no one had asked adolescents how often they shared prescription medications, which meds they shared and what some of the outcomes were,” said lead study author Richard Goldsworthy, Ph.D., director for research and development at Academic Edge, Inc.

The study appears online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

In addition to the danger of unforeseen side effects, prescription sharing can lead to delayed or suboptimal care, when teens postpone or skip needed appointments thinking they have addressed a problem. Misuse of “shared” antibiotics aggravates the growing problem of antibiotic drug resistance.

Additionally, the 32.4 percent of youth who did eventually see a physician often did not reveal having taken a “borrowed” medication. This can lead to unforeseen drug interactions.

Source: Health Behavior News Service

http://www.cfah.org/hbns/archives/getDocument.cfm?documentID=2099