In the early 20th century, German scientist Paul Ehrlich described an ideal drug as a “magic bullet”. This medication would be targeted precisely at the disease site and would not harm healthy tissues. Although many new drugs are targeted more precisely than their predecessors, none of them, so far, has been able to reach its target exclusively. Most drugs produce several effects, but generally only one effect – the therapeutic effect – is desired for the treatment of a disease. The other effects can be considered unwanted, whether they are intrinsically harmful or not. For example, some antihistamines, in addition to controlling allergy symptoms, cause drowsiness. When a sleep aid medication containing an antihistamine is taken, drowsiness is considered a therapeutic effect. However, when an antihistamine is taken to control allergy symptoms during the day, drowsiness is considered to be an irritating unwanted effect.
Most people, including healthcare professionals, refer to unwanted effects as side effects; another term used is adverse prescription drug effect. However, the term adverse drug reaction is technically more suitable for the purposes of drugs that are unwanted, unpleasant, harmful, or potentially harmful.
Common adverse drug reactions
Digestive disorders – loss of appetite, nausea, feeling of bloating, constipation and diarrhea – are particularly common adverse drug reactions, as most drugs are taken orally and pass through the digestive tract. However, almost any organ system can be affected. If you feel that you are relying too much on drugs and have become addicted to them, you should get addiction treatment in delray beach at a drug rehab before it gets worse. In elderly people, the brain is commonly affected, often resulting in drowsiness and confusion.
Types of Adverse drug reactions
There are several different types of adverse drug reaction such as,
- Dose related
The adverse drug reactions related to dose represent an exaggeration of the therapeutic effects of the drug. For example, a person taking a medication to control high blood pressure may feel dizzy or dizzy if the medication lowers blood pressure excessively. A person with diabetes can develop weakness, sweating, nausea and palpitations if the use of insulin or an oral antidiabetic reduces the blood sugar level excessively. This type of adverse drug reaction is generally predictable, but it is sometimes unavoidable. It can occur if a dose of the drug is too high (overdosage reaction), if the person is extraordinarily sensitive to the drug, or if another drug reduces the metabolism of the first drug and thus increases its concentration in the blood (Drug interactions ). Dose-related reactions are generally not serious, but are relatively common.
The allergic reactions develop when the body’s immune system develops an inappropriate reaction to a drug (sometimes known as sensitization). Sometimes, doctors perform skin tests to help predict allergic drug reactions.
Examples of such adverse drug reactions include skin rashes, jaundice, anemia, reduced white blood cell count, kidney damage, and nerve damage that can impair vision or hearing. These reactions tend to be more severe, but typically occur in a very small number of people. Affected people may have genetic differences in the way their bodies metabolize drugs or respond to them.
Stomach irritation and bleeding usually occur in people who regularly use aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) . This is because these drugs reduce the production of prostaglandins, which help to protect the digestive tract from gastric acid.