Adverse drug reactions

26 August 2016
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26 August 2016, Comments: 0

It is not surprising that adverse drug reactions are prevalent. Most of the adverse drug reactions are usually mild and vanish if the drug is stopped or the dosage is changed. Some cases gradually subside as the body adjusts to the drug. The other adverse drug reactions are considered more serious and last longer.

What are the types of adverse drug reactions?

Dose-related reactions

These are described as an overstatement of the therapeutic effects of the drug. An individual using a drug to lower high blood pressure might feel lightheaded or dizzy if the drug lowers the blood pressure too much.

An individual with diabetes might develop sweating, weakness, palpitations and nausea if insulin or an oral antidiabetic drug drops the blood sugar too low. This adverse drug reaction is usually expected but sometimes inescapable.

Adverse drug reaction

The examples of these adverse drug reactions include jaundice, rash, anemia, kidney damage, drop in the amount of white blood cell and damage to a nerve that can weaken vision or hearing.

This can occur if the dosage of a drug is too high, individual is unusually sensitive to the drug or if another medication slows the metabolism of the initial drug which increases its level in the bloodstream. This type of adverse drug reaction is not relatively serious but quite common.

Allergic reactions

This type of adverse drug reaction is not related to the dosage, but entails previous exposure to a particular drug. An allergic reaction develops once the immune system of the body develops an inappropriate reaction to the drug.

Once the individual is sensitized, future exposures to the drug triggers various forms of allergic reactions. Oftentimes, the doctor will perform a skin test to determine if the individual is experiencing an allergic drug reaction.

Idiosyncratic reactions

This type of reaction occurs from mechanisms that are not presently understood. This form of adverse drug reaction is unpredictable. The examples of these adverse drug reactions include jaundice, rash, anemia, kidney damage, drop in the amount of white blood cell and damage to a nerve that can weaken vision or hearing.

These responses are more serious but usually affect a few individuals. These individuals might have genetic variances on how the body metabolizes or reacts to drugs.

It is important to note that some types of adverse drug reactions could not be linked to the beneficial effect but usually predictable. This is due to the fact that the mechanisms involved are mainly understood.

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