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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2006 February;141(1):17-20

language: English

Adverse drug reactions: dermatological experience

Ayala F., Fabbrocini G., Bartiromo F., Barberio E., Rescigno O., Di Simone L., Capasso C.

Department of Dermatology and Systematic Pathology University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy


Aim. Adverse drug reaction (ADRs) monitoring is useful tool for the determination of the negative side effects of drugs from the ethical and practical points of view. It is also a guide to their safest and most efficient use with the aim of improving the quality of healthcare. In addition to their effect on human health, ADRs also impact significantly on healthcare costs. Since ADRs present most frequently with cutaneous signs and symptoms, patients are often referred to dermatologists, who thus come to play a fundamental role in the detection and diagnosis of these reactions, as well as in patient management.
Methods. Epidemiological data of 649 patients admitted to the Department of Dermatology of University of Naples Federico II for suspect ADRs were examined.
Results. Amongst the ADR identified in our cases, the most frequently observed cutaneous and extracutaneous manifestations were urticaria-angioedema (62%), maculopapular rash (21.4%), loss of consciousness (4.2%), dyspnea (3.7%), anaphylactic shock (2.5%), nausea (1.8%), itching (1.5%), stomatitis (1.1%), Stevens-Johnson’s syndrome (0.6%), paraesthesia (0.3%), erythema nodosum (0.3%), fixed eruption (0.3%), epistaxis (0.3%). ADRs were more often triggered by the following therapeutic categories: antibiotic agents (45%), antipyretic and analgesic drugs (23%), non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (28%).
Conclusion. The widespread use of these drugs justifies the importance of drug-surveillance activity, aimed at decreasing the negative effects of liberal drug use and at increasing their safety.

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