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Some patients fail to stick to the drug regimens prescribed by their doctors. Sometimes it’s due to cost considerations or sides effect, but it may also come down to simple forgetfulness.
Terrence Blaschke, MD, professor emeritus of medicine, has co-authored a review that documents the problems arising from the lack of proper adherence to medications. He spoke with Medical Xpress about how taking medications improperly can harm your health – and inadvertantly, the health of others as well.
Q: Can taking medication sporadically be just as bad for your health as not taking your medication at all?
Blaschke: Yes! In many infectious diseases (tuberculosis, malaria, HIV and even more common infections), partial adherence can promote the emergence of resistant organisms, which can be very difficult to treat. An important example is the contribution of partial adherence to the development of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis that may then be transmitted to other individuals. A similar concern has been well-documented for patients infected with HIV. There is also some suggestion that partial adherence with oral cancer drugs may also contribute to drug-resistant cancers.
You can read the rest of Blaschke’s Q&A at medicalxpress.com.