Original Articles: PDF OnlyHemminki Elina MD; Ferdock, Matt J. MA; Rahkonen, Ossi MSc; McKinlay, Sonja S. PhDMedical Care: September 1989 - p 859-868 Buy Abstract This paper describes the use of drugs among middle-aged Massachusetts women from 1982 to 1986. Data were obtained from follow-up interviews of women (n = 2565) who were premenopausal in a baseline survey of a representative sample of women with an age range of 45–55. In the first follow-up interview, 92% of women had used nonprescribed drugs (“current use”), but most only sporadically, while 47% had used prescribed drugs. The use of different types of drugs was concentrated in the same women, and women who had used prescribed drugs had also used nonprescribed drugs more often than the other women. In the first follow-up, women were classified as nonusers (includes sporadic nonprescribed drug use), nonprescribed medicine users, prescribed drug users, and mixed users; 43% of the women were in a different class three years later. Comparison of individual drug groups also showed changes in the user status between the two surveys. With the exception of poorer health, users of nonprescribed and prescribed drugs were similar to nonusers. Because use of drugs is common, further research on both its determinants and appropriateness is needed. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.