03 May 2007

Medicine reminders effective

Mailing reminders to doctors and people who take antidepressants can help those people stick with their medications.

Mailing reminders to doctors and people who take antidepressants can help those people stick with their medications.

A study in the American Journal of Managed Care found mailed reminders significantly increased the number of people who stuck to their medication routine, compared to people who didn't receive the mailed reminders.

Letters to doctors and patients
The study tracked the medication adherence of 9 564 people assigned to 7 021 doctors. The researchers monitored the study participants by checking their prescription refill records.

When a person appeared to have missed more than 10 days of medication, the researchers sent a letter to that person's doctor. A letter was also sent to the person, reminding them how and when to take their antidepressant and how to schedule regular visits with their doctor.

After a month of drug therapy, there were similar adherence rates in the group of people receiving the mailed reminders and the group of people who didn't get the reminders.

Varying adherence rates
However, after three and six months there was a much greater adherence rate in the group of people who received the mailed reminders compared to those who didn't get the reminders.

The study also found adherence rates varied among study participants according to the type of antidepressant they were taking. People taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were more likely to maintain their medication routine than people taking tricyclic antidepressants. – (HealthScout News)

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Lasting depression relief


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Michael Simpson has been a senior psychiatric academic, researcher, and Professor in several countries, having worked at London University in the UK; McMaster University in Canada; Temple University in Philadelphia, USA.; and the University of Natal in South Africa.

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