An adverse drug reaction (ADR) is an unexpected or harmful reaction to a medication, vaccine, or other therapy that occurs at therapeutic doses during normal use. It is different from a side effect, which is a known and anticipated effect of a medication.
ADR can range from mild to severe and can occur shortly after starting a new medication or after prolonged use. Common ADRs include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and allergic reactions. More serious ADRs can include liver or kidney damage, blood disorders, or even death.
ADR can be caused by many factors, including drug-drug interactions, drug-disease interactions, genetic factors, and individual variations in metabolism. Some patients may also be more vulnerable to ADRs due to age, underlying medical conditions, or other medications they are taking.
Preventing and managing ADRs is an important part of pharmacovigilance, which involves monitoring and evaluating the safety of medications after they have been approved for use. Health care professionals are responsible for reporting suspected ADRs to regulatory agencies to ensure that appropriate action can be taken to protect public health. Patients can also play a role in preventing ADRs by being aware of the potential risks and side effects of their medications and reporting any unexpected symptoms or changes to their healthcare provider.