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Poll shows prescriptions aren't taken as directed


A recent poll for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield shows almost half of upstate New Yorkers aren’t taking their prescription medication as directed.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Central New York Medical Director Nicholas Massa says it seems obvious that people should take their medications as directed, but sometimes they just don’t.

"A significant number of people say they just forget, or they don’t have the medication with them. Some say side effects are a concern. They don’t like the way medication makes them feel.”

Massa says it’s particularly important for individuals living with chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes to take medications, because missing them can lead to silent symptoms that aren’t apparent until they have caused damage to the body. Massa also says it can lead to doctors overprescribing, if they think their patients are taking medications as directed.

“And the doctor thinks your blood pressure isn’t getting better or your asthma isn’t under control. And we may have to switch you to another medicine or increase the dose. And there are risks to that. You may be taking a higher dose or different medicine that you really don’t need.”

Massa suggests individuals establish a daily routine and set reminders to make sure they keep to a medication regimen.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.