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Most don’t ask advice before crushing pills

Most people who modify medication dosage forms, potentially reducing their effectiveness, do so without seeking advice from healthcare professionals, a recent study has found.

About 44 per cent of the 369 respondents in the study did not think there would be issues with crushing or modifying tablets or capsules.

The research, by Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland researchers, also revealed people who take more than four doses of medicine a day appeared more likely to crush tablets or open capsules.

“It is concerning that this many of the people surveyed did not seem aware of the potential dangers associated with modifying dosage forms,” Dr Esther Lau, one of the researchers from QUT’s School of Clinical Sciences, said.

A previous study Lau was involved in revealed that compared with pharmacists and GPs, nurses were more likely to ask their patients about their ability to swallow medications.

Still, most health professionals reported that patients rarely or never volunteered information about swallowing difficulties.

In relation to the new study, Lau said many participants stated they would not tell a health professional if they experienced difficulty swallowing.

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