Brown bag medication reviews is a term used to describe the activity of putting all your medications into a bag and taking them to your pharmacist or doctor for review. It is an important activity to help people derive maximum benefit from their medicines and identify potential medication-related problems. To conduct a brown bag medication review, simply fill a bag with the prescription medications, supplements, vitamins, and over-the-counter medications that you take. Even if you only take them occasionally, they should be included in the bag along with the items you take on a daily basis. Take this bag to your doctor or pharmacist for a brown bag medication review. Since this process can take 30 minutes or more, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment for this activity.
Although you may have heard of a brown bag medication review before, an actual study proved just how important this task is. The study was conducted by Nathan A, Goodyer L, Lovejoy A and Rashid A. and termed ‘Brown bag’ and was later reported in Family Practice 1999. Brown bag medication reviews were carried out on 205 volunteer patients. Pharmacists analyzed medications used by these patients to improve their knowledge and usage of their medicines, to identify clinical problems, and to identify the drug groups most likely to cause problems.
Nearly 70% of the 205 volunteer patients had issues that needed to be addressed through changing their medication or how they used it.
24 were in danger of experiencing life-threatening situations
70 needed some form of change in their medications or how they were using them
48 gained an understanding they did not previously have about their medications
Only 63 out of the 204 volunteer patients understood their medications, were using them correctly, and were not taking medications that may adversely interact with one another.
Read the complete report here: http://fampra.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/3/278.full