Adverse Drug Reactions
The drugs are used as medicines for desirable effects but undesirable or unwanted effects that they may also produce mortality resulting from untoward effects, often pose a diagnostic problem as these drugs can involve every organ or system of the body. The extremely large numbers and variety of drugs available over the counter or by prescription from physicians make it impossible for the patient or physician to obtain or impart the necessary knowledge to use all these drugs well. It is understandable, therefore, that many drugs may be used unwisely by the public or maybe incorrectly prescribed by physicians. Most physicians use those drugs whose side effects and efficiency are familiar to them. Many patients receive care and drug prescriptions from more than one physician; and surveys have shown that in one month, a patient may consume more and different drugs available over the counter containing nine or more nine different chemical agents. 25–50 % of patients make errors in self-administration of prescribed medicines and/or some patients may use medicines without the knowledge of a physician. The self-administration is a big problem in certain countries and this can be responsible for an adverse drug reaction.
No drug is complete without side effects. If the drug is potentially toxic and its use is mandatory, in such a situation, its possible benefits must be weighed against its toxic effects. The prevention of adverse drug reactions must first involve a high index of suspicion that the development of a new symptom or a sign may be drug-related. Reduction of the dose or discontinuation of the suspected agent will usually clarify the position in concentration-dependent toxic reactions. Physicians must be familiar with the common adverse effects of the drugs that they use and if they are in doubt, they should consult the literature.