While there are many ways to define “adverse drug reaction,” let’s use one that is fairly simply to digest: an unintended, harmful response that is suspected to be caused by a medicinal product being taken under normal circumstances.
According to some sources, adverse drug reactions are the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, with an estimated 100,000 deaths annually. To put it another way, more people die from the medicine they are taking to treat an ailment than die from the ailment itself.
Stay tuned for the next post in this series on drug safety: signal detection. While you wait, here is our latest guide on drug safety.