Adverse Effects of Common Drugs: General Concepts

Kelly D owhower Karpa, Peter R. Lewis, Todd M atthew Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) contribute to substantial morbidity and mortality and add to rising health care costs. Many ADRs are preventable with appropriate prescribing and monitoring because they often occur as an extension of a drug's mechanism of action or known drug interactions. Patients at higher risk of ADRs include those at the extremes of age, those with multiple comorbidities, those taking multiple drugs, and patients admitted to intensive care units or experiencing transitions of care. Because the risk of ADRs becomes greater as the number of drugs and dietary supplements taken increases, it is imperative that prescribers be vigilant about the prescribing cascade and take steps to discontinue drugs that are likely to be more harmful than helpful. Pharmacists serve as important partners in clinical care environments by conducting comprehensive drug reviews, aiding in drug/dosage selection, and developing therapeutic monitoring plans. Although the potential exists for clinicians to use electronic health record systems to aid in clinical decision making through drug safety decision support tools, computer systems should never replace clinical judgment. Clinicians also are encouraged to report ADRs to the Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalFP essentials
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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