As local health professionals observe Med Safety Week, residents are being urged to report side effects and adverse drug reactions (ADR) of medicines.
A side effect is any unintended effect of a particular medicine that is related to the properties of the drug while an adverse drug reaction is a response to a medicine which is harmful, very unpleasant and unintended, and which occurs at doses normally used in man.
Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services, Gracia Wheatley-Smith reminded residents that even though medicines help, they can cause harm so it’s important people monitor themselves closely when using prescription medicines and report any side or adverse reactions they experience.
Wheatley-Smith said these experiences can be fatal, life-threatening, permanently and significantly disabling. She also said side effects may require hospital visits, prolonged hospitalisation, can cause congenital anomaly and may require intervention to prevent permanent impairment or damage.
She said regulators want to be aware of side effects and adverse drug reactions so they can use this information to help prevent harm to future patients.
According to the Chief of Drugs, reporting side effects and adverse drug reactions help to improve the safety of medicines for all users and in some cases can result in better tailored prescribing advice by doctors.
“By reporting side-effects and adverse drug reactions, patients will be actively participating in identifying emerging safety issues with medicines so that the ministry can take actions when necessary and protect you and others from harm,” Whealtey-Smith said.
The community is urged to report any side effect or ADR to the Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services via telephone at 284-468-9850 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.