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Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR)

Similar or Alternative Terms Meaning the Same Thing Adverse Event (AE)
Related Term(s) Adverse Event Report (AER)

Definition

An adverse drug reaction (ADR) is an injury caused by taking a medication. ADRs may occur following a single dose or prolonged administration of a drug or result from the combination of two or more drugs. The meaning of this expression differs from the meaning of "side effect", as this last expression might also imply that the effects can be beneficial. The study of ADRs is the concern of the field known as pharmacovigilance. An adverse drug event (ADE) refers to any injury occurring at the time a drug is used, whether or not it is identified as a cause of the injury. An ADR is a special type of ADE in which a causative relationship can be shown.

An adverse drug reaction is "an appreciably harmful or unpleasant reaction, resulting from an intervention related to the use of a medicinal product, which predicts hazard from future administration and warrants prevention or specific treatment, or alteration of the dosage regimen, or withdrawal of the product." Such reactions are currently reported by use of WHO's Adverse Reaction Terminology, which will eventually become a subset of the International Classification of Diseases. Adverse drug reactions are classified into six types (with mnemonics): dose-related (Augmented), non-dose-related (Bizarre), dose-related and time-related (Chronic), time-related (Delayed), withdrawal (End of use), and failure of therapy (Failure). Timing, the pattern of illness, the results of investigations, and rechallenge can help attribute causality to a suspected adverse drug reaction. Management includes withdrawal of the drug if possible and specific treatment of its effects. Suspected adverse drug reactions should be reported. Surveillance methods can detect reactions and prove associations.


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