A Safer Way to Dispense Prescription Drugs
ZICOH addresses several significant challenges associated with prescription medication adherence. It prevents abuse, deters diversion, and improves safety and compliance.
Prevents Prescription Medication Abuse and Misuse
Prescription drug abuse and misuse refer to taking a medication without a prescription or using it in any way other than how the physician intended. Millions of people misuse prescriptions every year. According to data from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
- About 16.1 million people reported misusing any prescription psychotherapeutic drug in the past 12 months
- 1 million people reported misusing prescription stimulants
- 2 million people reported misusing prescription tranquilizers or sedatives
- 8 million people reported misusing benzodiazepines
- 3 million reported misusing prescription pain relievers
Reasons for Misuse
People abuse prescription medications for various reasons. Sometimes, it’s to achieve a euphoric effect or to get “high.” Other times, it’s to help sleep, relax, or alleviate tension or pain. Other reasons for abuse include:
- To help cope with feelings or emotions
- To increase or decrease the effects of other drugs
- To prevent withdrawal symptoms due to physical dependence
- To help with concentration or to stay awake
Consequences of Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse is a serious concern because it can have serious repercussions, potentially even death. Taking prescription drugs in a way your doctor does not intend can be especially dangerous when combined with other prescriptions, over-the-counter, or recreational drugs. The dangers increase when people take more of the drug than prescribed.
The consequences of prescription medication abuse differ depending on the drug of abuse.
Opioids can lead to low pressure, slowed or stopped breathing, or a coma. In the worst-case scenario, it can lead to death. In 2020, approximately 16,416 people died from prescription opioid misuse.
Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives can cause memory problems, low blood pressure, slowed breathing, and withdrawal symptoms upon stopping use. In most extreme cases, abusing these drugs can lead to coma or death.
Stimulant abuse side effects include heart problems, high blood pressure, and a dangerously high body temperature.
Dependence and Addiction
Prescription medications that carry a higher propensity for abuse than other medications also bear the risk of physical dependence, occurring after chronic exposure to a drug. Dependent people develop withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medication. In more severe consequences, a person can develop an addiction, which is the compulsive urge to take a drug, despite any adverse consequences.
Dose-controlled prescription drug delivery allows pharmacists to program ZICOH to dispense the medication dosage type, amount, and frequency according to the health care provider’s orders. This feature ensures medication adherence, reducing the risk of overdose and addiction.
Prescription drug diversion refers to the process of transferring legitimate prescription drugs to others for whom they were not intended. Drugs may be diverted to friends or family, or they may end up for sale on the streets.
Drug Authentication Features
ZICOH can be programmed with authentication features, like fingerprint authorization, to help prevent prescription drugs from being diverted.
Improves Safety and Compliance
Prescription drugs are the safest and most effective when they are taken as prescribed by the patient for whom they are intended. Patients should take the correct dose, at the proper time and frequency. Taking more than prescribed can increase the risk of side effects while taking less than prescribed can lead to poor condition management. Failing to adhere to the prescribed timing of medications can also lead to poor health outcomes.
ZICOH Improves Prescription Drug Safety
With a tamper-resistant design and programmable features like medication reminders, ZICOH makes medication adherence easier than ever. ZICOH won’t allow patients to take off-schedule doses without their physician’s consent. Medication reminders help patients stick to their recommended dosing schedule.