Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Drug Reaction Overview

Another name for Drug Reaction is Drug Side Effect.

What is a drug side effect?
A person with a drug side effect has a symptom or illness that is caused by a medication. In most cases, a side effect is undesirable. Almost all drugs are capable of causing side effects. Most drug side effects are non serious, and include things like nausea and upset stomach. Only rarely, are drug side effects serious. The good news is the vast majority of people won't have any side effects at all, and when they do, they're usually minor. It's a good idea to become familiar with the potential side effects of your medications, and let your doctor know if you think you are having a drug side effect.

What are the symptoms of a drug side effect?
Drug side effects can cause a wide range of symptoms such as nausea, headache, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, rashes, fatigue, and fever.

How does the doctor treat a drug side effect?
Treatment for drug side effects may include stopping or reducing the dose of a medication or taking the medications with food.

Continue to Drug Reaction Symptoms

Last Updated: Nov 12, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Drug Reaction References
  1. Chia FL, Leong KP. Severe cutaneous adverse reactions to drugs. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 Aug;7(4):304-9. [17620821]
  2. Frey D, Rahman A. Medication management: an evidence-based model that decreases adverse events. Home Healthc Nurse. 2003 Jun;21(6):404-12. [12802111]
  3. Gaylor DW, Bolger PM, Schwetz BA. U.S. Food and Drug Administration perspective of the inclusion of effects of low-level exposures in safety and risk assessment. Environ Health Perspect. 1998 Feb;106 Suppl 1:391-4. [9539036]
  4. Runciman WB, Roughead EE, Semple SJ, Adams RJ. Adverse drug events and medication errors in Australia. Int J Qual Health Care. 2003 Dec;15 Suppl 1:i49-59. [14660523]
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