A recent study suggests kids & teens may not be properly taking medication prescribed to them for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

The study indicates that kids & teens prescribed 5-ASA(Mesalazine) or 6-MP(Mercaptopurine) only adhered to the regimen about 53% of the time. To find this out, researchers found this out by fitting an electronic sensor to the bottle caps and measuring how often they were opened. About 20% of those taking 5-ASA & 35% for 6-MP had an adherence rate of 20% or lower.

Obviously this test isn’t fool proof as the researchers didn’t know how many pills were taken out each time &  I am sure there was probably some little brat out there who probably cut a hole in the bottom of the container so as not to trigger the sensor. ;) It does lead a person to the question of why someone would not want to take their medication? Well there are probably numerous reasons. For starters, pills often remind patients they are sick. It’s kind of a downer & a reminder that you’re “not normal”. Second, it might not make you feel very good. If you have an adverse reaction to the medication, then you’re probably not going to want to keep taking it. Thirdly, rebellion. Kids & adults will rebel out of anger or frustration with the situation, even at things that are suppose to help.

Probably the best course of action is to talk to your child & their doctors to try & find out why they do not want to take the medication. There may be a very valid reason someone does not want to take the medication they are given. Keep in mind there may also be alternatives out there other than medication, that are worth researching. The work Reid Bryant Kimball is doing over a Crohn’s End may be an informative look at other things you could be trying. Some of it is may seem a little out there. Depending on the kind of kid you have they might find it very cool or very gross. Though with a lot of diseases nothing is surefire & you must weigh the risks of all treatment options, then take the path you feel most comfortable with.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America will be have a webcast on May 19th,  with pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Sandra Kim along with Janis Arnold, a clinical social worker. They will be answering questions about children’s needs when dealing with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases from the audience in a Q & A session. This would be a great opportunity for parents to ask questions regarding the physical & psychological needs their child might need. You need to register in advance to participate.