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Intensive Hospital Monitoring of Adverse Reactions to Drugs

Br Med J 1969; 1 doi: (Published 01 March 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;1:531
  1. Natalie Hurwitz,
  2. O. L. Wade


    A total of 1,268 patients admitted to hospital wards were kept under surveillance by one observer throughout their stay in hospital. All drugs given to them and the occurrence of adverse reactions were recorded.

    Drug reactions were found in 10·2% of the 1,160 patients who received drug therapy. Most reactions were due to known pharmacological actions of the drugs. Though only four reactions were of life-threatening seriousness, 80% of the 129 reactions observed were of moderate severity. Digitalis preparations, bronchodilator drugs, and ampicillin had the highest reaction rates. It is suggested that larger surveys of adverse reactions in relation to drug usage would make a useful contribution to the problem.