Back to Journals » Journal of Pain Research » Volume 9

Risks associated with borrowing and sharing of prescription analgesics among patients observed by pain management physicians in Croatia: a qualitative study

Authors Markotic F, Puljak L

Received 4 August 2016

Accepted for publication 6 October 2016

Published 30 November 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 1143—1151

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S118945

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael E Schatman


Filipa Markotic,1 Livia Puljak2

1Centre for Clinical Pharmacology, University Clinical Hospital Mostar, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina; 2Laboratory for Pain Research, University of Split School of Medicine, Split, Croatia

Background: Understanding and improving patient safety is a key issue in medicine. One of the potential threats to patient safety is the sharing of medication among patients, which is a form of self-medication. This study analyzed experiences and attitudes of pain management physicians (PMPs) about sharing prescription analgesics among patients.
Methods: This qualitative study was conducted by semi-structured interviews among PMPs employed in Croatian pain clinics. The study involved two researchers and 15 PMPs.
Results: Among PMPs, 80% have seen patients who share their prescription analgesics with other patients for whom prescription is not intended. Most PMPs consider prescription analgesics sharing a risky and negative behavior. Some of them, however, found certain positive aspects associated to it, such as being a benevolent behavior, helping patients to get medications when they need them, and helping them cope with pain.
Conclusion: The majority of physicians specialized in pain management encountered patients sharing prescription analgesics. Most of them considered this as risky behavior with a number of potential consequences. It has been noted that this problem is neglected and that physicians should inquire about medication sharing. Direct-to-consumers advertising was perceived as a factor contributing to such behavior. Patient education and more involvement of physicians in identifying this behavior were cited as potential remedies for preventing sharing of prescription analgesics.

Keywords: analgesics, sharing, lending, borrowing, risks

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]