Introduction This project’s primary aim was to assess the reasons behind the recurrent adherence failure to anti-epileptic medication (AEDs) and its effects, in the Staffordshire area. This was done via a questionnaire administered by the Royal Stoke University Hospital Clinical Epilepsy Nurse Specialists over 3 months in 2018. Analysis occurred subsequently to avoid result bias.
Results 57 neurology patients completed this questionnaire with 81% (47) reporting a planned change to AEDs. However, there were also unexpected medication changes (35%), wrong doses (4%) and wrong drugs (9%) dispensed. Impacts of the medication changes included side effects (55%), seizures (5%) and medication-related confusion (35%) with pharmacy cause reported in 65%. This was statistically significantly more likely to occur if the dispensing pharmacy was a chain. Pharmacy chains in our region were responsible for 77% (44) of the dispensing. Running out of medications also was common (19, 33%) with 63% of these being for non-patient reasons.
Conclusion In a population who already frequently have memory problems, there is a high non-patient related cause for poor AED compliance. We recommend informing patient of changes (including to cheaper generics) and move from a micro-regulated profit-driven system to a more flexible patient-centred approach.
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