What is a medication guide suits patients' needs?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In order for a patient to read a medication guide and develop appropriate behavior regarding use of the medication, the guide should suit patients' needs. In medical care, the primary needs of patients are preventing/curing disease and/or relieving symptoms. Certainly, patients would like knowledge about what can be expected after taking a medication. However, current “Drug Guides for Patients” are based on drug labeling, which is essentially a medically sophisticated instruction manual for medical professionals who have existing knowledge about the medical treatment of the disease. Thus, there seems to be a gap in patients' needs and the contents of existing drug guides. Consequently, this disconnect may be part of the reason Drug Guides for Patients have been underused. If a patient treatment guide, which gives an overview of the disease and possible treatment strategies, is provided in conjunction with a drug guide, this combination may be useful for satisfying patients' needs. In addition, patients generally prefer detailed drug information. Consistently, surveys have revealed that many patients would like to get more information about prescribed medicine than what is frequently provided in medical practice. Furthermore, one survey reported that detailed information about possible side effects resulted in improved compliance. The need to provide patients with drug information can be considered from three points of view: patients' rights, best decision-making by the patient, and minimizing risks. Although in daily practice doctors and pharmacists may have some di‹culty providing detailed medication information that includes all possible risks, more effective ways to communicate this information to patients have been suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-306
Number of pages10
JournalYakugaku Zasshi
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Drug guide for patients
  • Drug information
  • Patient-centered care
  • Patients' needs
  • Risk communication


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