Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Caregiving: adverse drug affects

Reports of adverse drug effects reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more than doubled in the last decade, according to a new study. Deaths associated with the serious effects also more than doubled. … The report is published in the Sept. 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. (WebMD Medical News)


 “… The FDA said the increase in reported "adverse events" is not necessarily a bad thing …”

FDA criticized after study finds drug-related deaths up


On the list of drugs most commonly identified in fatal events:

   1. Oxycodone (OxyContin and others)

   2. Fentanyl (Duragesicand others)

   3. Clozapine (Clozaril)

   4. Morphine

   5. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

   6. Methadone

   7. Infliximab (Remicade)

   8. Interferon beta (Rebif, Betaseron, Avonex)

   9. Risperidone (Risperdal)

  10. Etanercept (Enbrel)

  11. Paclitaxel (Taxol)

  12. Acetaminophen-hydrocodone(Vicodin, Lortab, and others)

  13. Olanzapine (Zyprexa)

  14. Rofecoxib (Vioxx)

  15. Paroxetine (Paxil)


Drugs on the list of those most commonly identified in disability or serious outcomes:

   1. Estrogens

   2. Insulin

   3. Infliximab (Remicade)

   4. Interferon beta (Rebif, Betaseron, Avonex)

   5. Paroxetine (Paxil)

   6. Rofecoxib (Vioxx)

   7. Warfarin (Coumadin)

   8. Atorvastatin (Lipitor)

   9. Etanercept (Enbrel)

  10. Celecoxib (Celebrex)

  11. Phentermine (Pro-Fast)

  12. Clozapine (Clozaril)

  13. Interferon alfa (Alferon N, Infergen, Intron A, Roferon-A)

  14. Simvastatin (Zocor)

  15. Venlafaxine(Effexor)


“The numbers reported in the recent study are probably "the tip of the iceberg," says David W. Bates, MD, director of the Center of Excellence for Patient Safety Research and Practice at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.  Many more adverse drug events, he suspects, go unreported."


Caregivers in particular NEED to be the extra layer of consumer education, safeguard, and monitoring. Vigilance is the difference between 'caring' and administering.


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. I wonder if these numbers include clinical trials and fast tracking drugs.  I know we push them to give us drugs to help us fast but when they put something out there with devastating effects, I'd prefer they wait.  I'm seeing many ALS trials using cocktails of drugs already out there and I'm afraid desperate people will get their doctors to prescribe them.  This mess will slow everything down but maybe it should. I want a cure but....



  2. Wow! Thank you for sharing this.

  3. .....wow BECAUSE OF HIS PAIN Jack has a lot of those pain drugs.

  4. Yes, and what is really troubling is that the warnings and cautions on the sheet that comes with the drugs (Rx) is that the print is SO small, even I have trouble reading them. And I imagine most people don't even talk to their pharmacist about the drugs prescribed to them. Always a good idea to ask your doctor about them, the pharmacist as well, and read the fine print (with magnification modification if necessary) just to get the low down on these meds. Before my dad died, he was taking so many different drugs throughout the day (he'd had heart attack, heart bypass, stroke, arthritis, broken neck, and possibly diabetic) that it's entirely possible his death was a result of taking them, or of not taking them properly. Or not taking them at all (his response to a physically/emotionally painful life near the end). He lived too far from me to keep up with it all. Your point is made, though, that caregivers need to be on their toes, another concern to add to their already full plate. Thanks for the warning. I didn't know it was that bad! bea

  5. thank you for sharing this:) have a good week


  6. Tylenol? I have heard the others are dangerous... but Tylenol? This is news to me.


  7.  Almost any drug from aspirin on up can be dangerous if not taken correctly and sometimes even when taken correctly.  Know the drugs your on and the side effects to look for.  It could save your life.  Good post.


  8. ((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))Thats good info to.I tryed most of theeses.I do take tyonal 3

  9. oddly enough I've taken quite a few of these drugs!


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