Adverse drug reactions: classification, susceptibility and reporting
Intended for healthcare professionals

Adverse drug reactions: classification, susceptibility and reporting

Gerri Kaufman Senior lecturer in adult nursing and lead for specialist skills post-registration development, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, England

Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are increasingly common and are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Historically, ADRs have been classified as type A or type B. Type A reactions are predictable from the known pharmacology of a drug and are associated with high morbidity and low mortality. Type B reactions are idiosyncratic, bizarre or novel responses that cannot be predicted from the known pharmacology of a drug and are associated with low morbidity and high mortality. Not all ADRs fit into type A and type B categories; therefore, additional categories have been developed. These include type C (continuing), type D (delayed use), and type E (end of use) reactions. Susceptibility to ADRs is influenced by age, gender, disease states, pregnancy, ethnicity and polypharmacy. Drug safety is reliant on nurses and other healthcare professionals being alert to the possibility of ADRs, working with patients to optimise medicine use and exercising vigilance in the reporting of ADRs through the Yellow Card Scheme.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10214


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 08 July 2015

Accepted: 23 December 2015

Published online: 02 August 2016

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