No Prescription? Have Some of Mine

August 25, 2008
New York Times

Pass the pills, please. (Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

Borrowing and sharing of prescription drugs among friends and family is common, particularly among younger women, a new report shows.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed more than 25,000 adults and found that sharing of prescription drugs is common, with 29 percent of women and 27 percent of men engaging in the practice.

But drug-sharing rates were highest among younger women ages 18 to 44, raising special concerns about side effects and health risks of unchecked prescription drug use among women who might become pregnant. Among the 7,500 women of reproductive age in the survey, more than one in three shared prescription drugs with friends or used medication offered by friends, according to the report, published in The Journal of Women’s Health. Among women of reproductive age, about 37 percent shared drugs, compared to 20 percent of women in other age groups.
Allergy medicines and pain pills were the types of drugs most commonly borrowed or shared by women. More…