Hospital patients are unaware of the names of the medications they are prescribed in hospital, with many believing they are taking a drug they are not, according to a study.
Patients visiting hospitals were asked about their medications during hospital visits, by researchers from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.
As many as 96% did not know the name of at least one drug they were taking while 44% wrongly thought they were taking a particular type of drug they were not.
The study was conducted in order to assess attitudes and awareness surrounding patient knowledge of medication. With medication errors found in one in every five doses by one review, the patient can represent the last in a chain preventing the incorrect medication being given.
Lead researcher Ethan Cumbler, M.D., assistant professor of medicine said: “Our findings are particularly striking in that we found significant deficits in patient understanding of their hospital medications even among patients who believed they knew, or desired to know, what is being prescribed to them in the hospital.”
The most commonly omitted scheduled medication was antibiotics, at 17%, with cardiovascular drugs and antithrombotics close behind with 16% and 15% respectively.
Analgesics and gastrointestinal medications were the most commonly omitted among those taken as needed by patients.
These findings were published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.