Many acne patients don't take recommended medication

Many acne patients don't take recommended medication

A small study has found that many acne patients do not take all of their recommended medications.

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Of 143 acne patients, 27 percent did not obtain or use the prescription or over-the-counter medication suggested by their dermatologists. At 40 percent, patients who were prescribed two medications had the highest rate of non-adherence, followed by those prescribed three or more medications (31 percent), and those prescribed just one medication (9 percent).

"Non-adherence is a pervasive problem in all of medicine, particularly when treating chronic conditions such as acne," said study author Dr. Steven Feldman, a professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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"A previous study reported a 10 percent primary non-adherence rate for acne patients, so we were surprised that what we found was more than twice that."

The study also found that prescriptions for topical medications were less likely to be filled than those for oral medications. Over the counter medications were less likely to be picked up than prescription medications, and paper prescriptions were less likely to be filled than electronic prescriptions.

There were no significant differences in non-adherence based on gender or age. Although the study did not determine why patients do not fill their prescriptions, participant cited cost, forgetfulness, or having similar medications on hand.

A previous study found that young adults with acne reported eating foods that had a higher glycemic index, including foods and drinks containing more sugar and dairy, than young adults without acne. The initial results of the study suggested that it may be prudent for dermatologists to recommend that acne patients reduce their consumptions of dairy and sugar in addition to taking their medication.

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