Research Article

Prescription information leaflets: a pilot study in general practice.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 22 October 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:1193
  1. C F George,
  2. W E Waters,
  3. J A Nicholas


    Leaflets containing information about medicines were issued to 56 patients prescribed penicillins and 43 patients prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The patients were interviewed between four and 10 days later and their responses compared with those of 65 patients prescribed penicillin and 33 prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs who did not receive a leaflet. Patients who received a leaflet were more likely to be completely satisfied with their treatment and with the information they had been given. They were also more likely to know the name of their medicine and much more aware of potential unwanted effects. Although there was no evidence that knowledge increased the incidence of adverse effects, when these did occur they were more likely to be recognised as being due to the medicine. Further studies of other leaflets are warranted, including leaflets for drugs that are taken long term.