Teens need to learn about safe use of pain medications, say researchers

May 5th, 2009 - 1:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 5 (ANI): A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center suggests that most teens, who have started to make more decisions about their own health care, may not know enough about the over-the-counter pain medications to avoid complications or inadvertent misuse.

During the study, the researchers surveyed almost 100 youngsters between 14 and 20 years old, and found that the average score on series of questions about knowledge of over-the-counter medication was 44 percent.

The survey revealed that more than 75 percent of the subjects had taken over-the-counter medications in the previous month.

“This tells health professionals that we need to teach our young people about safe use of over-the-counter pain medications,” said Dr. Karen Wilson, senior instructor of Pediatrics and author of the abstract at the Pediatric Academic Society meeting in Baltimore.

The teens surveyed also reported that they most often took Tylenol and ibuprofen.

While 35 percent of the teens knew what acetaminophen was, 37 percent of them did not correctly identify acetaminophen and Tylenol as the same medication.

“Taken properly, acetaminophen is a safe and effective medication, but chronic misuse and overdoses can cause liver damage. Plus, they are in a lot of compound medications that include acetaminophen and ibuprofen, so it’s easy to accidentally take a more than you should,” Wilson said. (ANI)

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