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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008 Sep;17(7):1073-80. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2007.0769.

Prescription medication borrowing and sharing among women of reproductive age.

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  • 1National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



The purpose of this study was to describe the patterns of prescription medication borrowing and sharing among adults, particularly women of reproductive age.


Data were collected from the 2001-2006 HealthStyles surveys, an annual mail survey conducted in the United States concerning trends in health behavior. The total responses received were 26,566 of 36,420 surveys mailed (response rate 73%). Of these total responses, there were 7,456 women of reproductive age (18-44 years). Survey questions included whether participants had ever shared or borrowed a prescription medication, how often participants shared or borrowed medications in the past year, and types of medications shared or borrowed. Data were weighted by matching sex, age, income, race, and household size variables to annual U.S. census data. Associations between demographic factors and borrowing and sharing were studied.


Overall, 28.8% of women and 26.5% of men reported ever borrowing or sharing prescription medications. Women of reproductive age were more likely to report prescription medication borrowing or sharing (36.5%) than women of nonreproductive age (>or=45 years) (19.5%) (rate ratio [RR] 1.87, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.77-1.99). Of reproductive-aged women who borrowed or shared prescription medication, the most common medications borrowed or shared were allergy medications (43.8%) and pain medications (42.6%).


Prescription medication borrowing and sharing is a common behavior among adults and is more common among reproductive-aged women than among women in other age groups.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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