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Warning Labels: Prescription Drugs

  • By: Anne P. Hubbell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) or adverse drug events (ADEs) are potentially lethal reactions to medications. They can be as simple as taking two drugs that should not be taken together or as complicated as a person taking nine medications and confusing when to take each pill. ADRs can result in serious conditions and are the cause of about 770,000 injuries and/or fatalities each year in the United States, with about 300,000 of these occurring in hospitals. ADRs have been considered one of the top causes of morbidity and mortality. In 2000, the Institute of Medicine estimated that 44,000 to 98,000 people die each year due to medical errors, with a further estimate of approximately 7,000 being the result of ADRs.

ADRs also represent major health care ...

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