Intended for healthcare professionals


Changing color of antiepileptic pills raises risk of patients’ non-adherence, study shows

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 03 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f19
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Changing the color of antiepileptic tablets is associated with an increased risk of patients with seizure disorder stopping taking them as prescribed, a US study has found.1

Researchers analyzed a national database of prescription records of patients with health insurance who started taking an antiepileptic drug between 2001 and 2006. They identified 11 472 patients as being “non-persistent,” defined as failing to fill a prescription within five days of the date required to take the drug as prescribed.

They assessed changes in pill color and shape of generic drugs dispensed in the two refills before patients became non-persistent and compared them with 50 050 controls who had no …

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