This is the Cause of 18 Million ER Visits Every Year
As many as 70% of seniors make mistakes when taking their medications. This can lead to an increased risk for prescription drug side effects, or worse. It’s estimated that about 18 million emergency room visits are caused by harmful reactions to drugs. Added to these frightening statistics is the fact that an adverse drug event can lower a medication’s effectiveness.
What’s been happening here? How do scientists determine if a medication is safe? Spanish researchers recently delved into this controversial subject when they looked at drugs and how best to design safer ones. The researchers began by looking at the molecular structure of a large group of drugs. Of the 1,162 side effects determined for these drugs, 446 could be explained solely on the basis of biology (the effects they caused in the body) and 68 only on the basis of their chemistry (the chemicals they are made from). Another 648 needed both biological and chemical considerations to determine why side effects might occur.
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