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Thursday, October 19th 2006

Stuffing Things Down Your Gullet Not Always Without Consequences

I’m not talking about choking.

Drug reactions are the cause of nearly 700,000 ER visits a year. Here is the Los Angeles Times write up on the study in JAMA (link above),

People older than 65 were more than twice as likely as younger people to require emergency care for a drug reaction, and nearly seven times as likely to need hospitalization.

Sixteen of the top 18 drugs causing adverse reactions have been in use for more than 20 years.

Researchers found that three medications — the bloodthinner warfarin, the diabetes drug insulin and the heart medicine digoxin — accounted for one-third of drug-related emergency room visits among people over 65.

For all the good pharmacuticals do, these are foriegn chemicals with a myraid of actions on your body. And apparently physicians, other health care providers, and patients themselves need to give them a little more respect and a little more attention to those using them.