Reports of Adverse Drug Reactions Rise From Previous Levels

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Adverse reactions from drugs are on the rise.

According to a new report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practice’s Quarterwatch surveillance program, 179,855 reports came flooding in to the Food and Drug Administration regarding serious or fatal reactions to drugs last year.  This is a marked increase of 9.4% from the previous year, when there were 15,000 fewer reports.  Of the 2011 reports, just over 21,000 came from consumers or medical professionals, while the rest came from manufacturers, who are required by law to report any adversity to the FDA within 15 days of learning of a problem.

Of the drugs that topped the list in terms of the most reported adverse events, many are also incredibly popular and widespread among patients.  Those drugs that topped the list of reports from consumers and physicians include Zocor, Carboplatin, Zestril, and Bactrim.  Topping the list with 3,781 adverse reports was Pradaxa.  Included amid these reports were 542 deaths and 2,367 reports of a hemorrhage taking place.

The increase in reports of adverse drug events may have to do with the advent of the internet and various other communications platforms.  Because manufacturers now have the ability to communicate directly with consumers and healthcare professionals alike, it’s becoming easier for these companies to hear more about adverse events, thus leading to increased reporting numbers.