Items in AFP with MESH term: Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems
ABSTRACT: Vaccines have turned many childhood diseases into distant memories in industrialized countries. However, questions have been raised about the safety of some vaccines because of rare but serious adverse effects that have been attributed to them. Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site are common local reactions to vaccines. Fever and irritability may occur after some immunizations. Currently, no substantial evidence links measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to autism, or hepatitis B vaccine to multiple sclerosis. Thimerosal is being eliminated from routine childhood vaccines because of concerns that multiple immunizations with vaccines containing this preservative could exceed recommended mercury exposures. Family physicians should be knowledgeable about vaccines so that they can inform their patients of the benefits of immunization and any proven risks. If immunization rates fall, the incidence of vaccine-preventable illnesses may rise.
ABSTRACT: Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax exposures in the following weeks, concern that smallpox could be used as a biologic weapon has increased. Public health departments and the U.S. military have begun the process of vaccinating soldiers and civilian first-responders. Smallpox vaccination carries some serious risks: approximately one in 1 million primary vaccinees and one in 4 million revaccinees will die from adverse vaccine reactions. The most serious side effects of smallpox vaccine include progressive vaccinia, postvaccinial central nervous system disease, and eczema vaccinatum. Some of these reactions can be treated with vaccinia immune globulin or cidofovir. Proper patient screening and site care are essential. Family physicians must learn to screen potential vaccinees for contraindications (e.g., immunodeficiency, immunosuppression, certain skin and eye diseases, pregnancy, lactation, allergy to the vaccine or its components, moderate or severe intercurrent illness) and to treat vaccine-associated adverse reactions.
ABSTRACT: Adverse drug events occur in 15 percent or more of older patients presenting to offices, hospitals, and extended care facilities. These events are potentially preventable up to 50 percent of the time. Common serious manifestations include falls, orthostatic hypotension, heart failure, and delirium. The most common causes of death are gastrointestinal or intracranial bleeding and renal failure. Antithrombotic and antidiabetic medications, diuretics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs cause most of the preventable hospital admissions due to adverse drug events. Strategies to reduce the risk of adverse drug events include discontinuing medications, prescribing new medications sparingly, reducing the number of prescribers, and frequently reconciling medications. The Beers, STOPP (screening tool of older persons’ potentially inappropriate prescriptions), and START (screening tool to alert doctors to right treatment) criteria can help identify medications causing adverse drug events. Not all potentially inappropriate medications can be avoided. Clinicians should involve patients in shared decision making and individualize prescribing decisions based on medical, functional, and social conditions; quality of life; and prognosis.