Adverse Drug Reactions - Clinical Pharmacology
SummaryWhenever a foreign substance is introduced into the body, there will be a chance of rejection or having an adverse reaction. This reaction is the risk taken when trusting the pharmaceuticals that we have come to rely on for our wellness. We need these drugs, but sometimes other circumstances tell us otherwise.
- Author Name: Stanley Clark
Whenever a foreign substance is introduced into the body, there will be a chance of rejection or having an adverse reaction. This reaction is the risk taken when trusting the pharmaceuticals that we have come to rely on for our wellness.
We need these drugs, but sometimes other circumstances tell us otherwise.
What is an Adverse Drug Reaction?
An Adverse Drug Reaction is also known as an ADR - the unwanted or uncomfortable effects of a drug. ADRs can also be dangerous to the one experiencing them. These reactions will be categorized and stored in a database like rhinonetworks.com offers so they can be referenced later on.
Most times an ADR is something unexpected, and even sometimes predicted. They can be linked to almost anything at all, while at the same time showing no true underlying cause. This factor alone leaves many in fear of the discomfort that an adverse reaction can cause.
Types of ADRs
There are a few types of adverse drug reactions that doctors typically see. These are the few that we have the most information about and understanding of. They are also the ones doctors see the most frequently in the ER or a medical office.
A dose-related reaction has to do with how much of the drug was originally ingested and what happened after that. This type of reaction will often deal with pharmacological windows of therapeutic effect that are very narrow.
A therapeutic window is the dose amount of a drug that needs to be present in your system for the drug to do the job it is supposed to do. If this range is narrow it is easier to under or over-medicate, which can lead to a higher number of adverse drug reactions. This case is especially true in the elderly as well as individuals who are taking multiple medications.
An allergic reaction to a drug will occur when your body sees a pharmacological agent as an intruder and has an allergy or an antigen. Your body tries to fight these, and if the drug is seen as such, your body is going to try and fight it off.
Allergic reactions rarely occur upon first exposure to a medication. First, your body becomes sensitive to the substance. Upon reintroduction, the body will automatically fight the substance. This two-step process can be as simple as the first and second dose of prescribed medication.
These seem to be the typical reactions people think of when they hear the term adverse drug reaction. These are easily treatable, but they also occur in hospitals occasionally. One ADR can also help predict the likely occurrence of another reaction with a similar drug to the one that is the instigator of the first reaction.
An idiosyncratic adverse drug reaction is an abnormal reaction to a drug that cannot be categorized with either of the other two types. It is considered a genetically determined response, and the reason that it occurs is still mostly unknown.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs of an Adverse Drug Reaction will happen fairly quickly after the contact with the drug causing the problem. Such signs are still not usually after the first dose though, as you have to develop a sensitivity to the substance first.
The elderly are more likely to suffer these reactions due to their age and their frequent use of multiple medications. In older populations, adverse drug reactions may also manifest as psychological effects similar to dementia.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Observation and patient testimonials are the fastest ways to diagnose if an adverse drug reaction is present. Some types of reactions will need to be carefully studied over time to properly diagnose them. Then upon determination of a reaction occurring, the reaction must be reported to the oversight board, who will hold on to the information for further analysis and diagnosis.
In most cases, the adverse reaction is treated by stopping the drug altogether or switching it for an alternative. The modification of dosage is also a likely choice, and if there is a reaction where there are physical characteristics, a physician may administer cortisone for comfort.
While adverse drug reactions are not always preventable, they do help pharmacological research progress. No one wants to experience an ADR, but observation and listening to your doctor can help to prevent one from happening to you.