Prescription medication sharing: A systematic review of the literature

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American Journal of Public Health


We reviewed the literature on nonrecreational prescriptionmedication sharing.We searched PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO,andacustomized multidatabase for all relevant articles published through 2013; our final sample comprised 19 studies from 9 countries with 36 182 participants, ranging in age from children to older adults, and published between 1990 and 2011. The prevalence rate for borrowing someone's prescription medication was 5% to 51.9% and for lending prescription medication to someone else was 6% to 22.9%. Awide range ofmedicines were shared between family members, friends, and acquaintances. Sharingofmanyclassesof prescriptionmedicationwas common. Further research should explore why people share, how they decide to lend or borrow, whether they are aware of the risks, and how they assess the relevance of those risks.



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