Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Adverse drug reaction cards carried by patients.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 26 April 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:1109
  1. P C Hannaford


    Five hundred patients were asked whether they were allergic to any medicines. The description given of any stated reaction was assessed to see whether an important adverse drug reaction was likely to have occurred. The patients' records were also examined for collaborative evidence. Poor documentation often made it difficult to confirm the patient's claim of drug sensitivity. A total of 89 patients may have suffered from important adverse reactions to 113 drugs. Full documentation of adverse reactions is important, but only eight patients carried any information to warn others of their sensitivities. Patients should be asked about any drug sensitivities and, if appropriate, given written confirmation of them. A quick, simple method of doing this would be to provide patients' with a plastic card, similar to a credit card, with instructions and details of the reaction written on it with an indelible pen.