Almost half of epilepsy patients surveyed in a British poll say they’ve forgotten to take their medications at least once in the past month.
Researchers at Epilepsy Research UK wanted to know how meticulously people receiving their newsletter adhere to medication regimes. They stress, however, that these results pertain to a sample of 125 respondents and that the poll is still active.
Medication adherence is an important healthcare problem worldwide. According to a news release, across all fields of medicine, up to 75 percent of people don’t take their medicines properly. In epilepsy, forgetting to take antiepileptic drugs could lead to seizures.
Respondents were asked to estimate for themselves how many times in the last month they had forgotten to take their medication at all – or had taken it a different time than recommended. This is what they answered:
- 52 percent reported not forgetting to take their medicines – or give someone their medicines
- Just over 20 percent said they had forgotten to take their medication once
- About 25 percent reported forgetting to take their medication twice or more in the past month
- 54 percent said they did not forget to take their medicine at the right time
- 15 percent reported taking their medication at the wrong time once in the past month
- Over 25 percent said they had taken their medicine at the wrong time at least twice in the past month.
In addition, the poll revealed that:
- Almost 90 percent of the 125 respondents said they were responsible for their own epilepsy medication, while only 9 Percent said they were responsible for someone else’s medication, as a caretaker or as a parent.
- About 90 percent of respondents said they had to take medications two or more times per day, although most reported taking medication twice daily
- About 50 percent of the respondents said they were taking just one medication, while 28 percent reported taking two different medications. Almost 25 percent of the poll’s respondents reported taking three, four or even more different medicines for their epilepsy daily.
Epilepsy Research UK encourages epileptics and anyone who cares for someone with the disease to take the poll and help the organization gather more information.
In the meantime, the London-based nonprofit has prepared an illustrated WikiHow to give some simple tips to help epileptics remember. It focuses on four main areas: understanding your medication, setting physical reminders, using technology and community Q&A.