New research has revealed high levels of carelessnesss when it comes to taking medicine, with many people putting their lives at risk.
A poll for the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) reveals that large numbers of people have lax attitudes towards medication. Almost one third of those surveyed thought it was acceptable to take over-the-counter medicines that a pharmacist had specifically recommended for someone else.
Nurses play a vital role in ensuring patients understand the risk posed by medicines, and they are needed to combat dangerous myths - for example, many people believed that if the dose was reduced, it was safe to give adult medicine to children.
The poll of 1,000 people also revealed that one in five condoned occasionally coming off medicines for a long-term condition like diabetes or asthma in order to cleanse their bodies.
Leyla Hannbeck, head of information at the NPA, said: “We are especially concerned that people with long-term conditions may feel it is right to ‘detox’ from time to time by taking a break from their prescribed medicines.
“For someone with, say, asthma, diabetes or depression, the result of doing so can be catastrophic.”
The research also highlighted a lack of basic medicinal knowledge - a quarter erroneously believed that aspirin was simply a weaker version of ibuprofen.