New research from Queensland University of Technology has found that 1 in 10 people reported modifying their medication dosage forms, resulting in potentially reduced efficacy. Findings from the study are published in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.  

Study authors aimed to estimate the prevalence of swallowing difficulties and medication dosage form modification among community pharmacy consumers. They enrolled and interviewed 369 consumers across five community pharmacies in Brisbane, Australia.  In general, about 16.5% reported experiencing swallowing difficulties, and 10.6% reported modifying their medication dosage forms.

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Moreover, researchers found that 44.2% of patients did not think there would be issues with crushing or modifying tablets or capsules. Most of the patients that altered medication dosage forms sought advice from family and friends instead of healthcare professionals. Also, patients seemed to modify their medications even when they had no swallowing difficulties.

Patients who took more than 4 doses of medicine daily were more likely to crush tablets or open capsules, researchers concluded. Healthcare professionals, particularly pharmacists, should be more direct in educating consumers with issues associated with swallowing difficulties and altering medication dosage forms. more information visit