Making informed decisions about your osteoporosis drug

12 Jul 2017

Medication information leaflets ‘aren’t written from a consumer’s perspective’, a report recently published by the Academy of Medical Sciences says. The report states that information generally focuses too much on the possible risks and side-effects of a medicine, rather than the benefits.

As a result, patients may struggle to make informed decisions about their drug treatment, with some admitting they find information leaflets ‘too scary’ and often avoid reading them altogether. The negative focus of medicine information could also be the reason why less than half of people continue with a drug they have started taking.

Currently, risks are most often listed as either ‘serious’ or ‘possible’ and take up a greater proportion of a leaflet than the medicine’s benefits. There is also little explanation on what symptoms the possible side-effects may present, or of how likely the side-effects are – in real terms.

In response to the report, Sarah Leyland, Osteoporosis Nurse Consultant at the National Osteoporosis Society, comments: “The Charity, in collaboration with osteoporosis experts, has very much focused on revising our suite of eight osteoporosis drug treatment factsheets, giving realistic and positive information about the drug treatments for osteoporosis.

Our aim is to provide accurate and timely information that informs - without frightening - those who are taking the various medications. If people still feel uncertain, I would encourage them to contact the Charity’s specialist nurses on its free osteoporosis Helpline.”

Unsure about your osteoporosis drug treatment?

Find our factsheet about your osteoporosis drug treatment, along with guidance on the decisions you may need to make about your treatment.

I you are unsure, our free osteoporosis Helpline is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and can be reached on 0808 800 0035, or by emailing nurses@nos.org.uk.

The Academy of Medical Sciences has also issued some advice on the types of questions we should be asking our GPs about medication, to help us make more informed choices about the drugs we are taking.

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