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Common Adverse Drug Effects Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

List of common adverse drug effects

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Adverse Drug Effects

Record severity of symptoms experi­enced over the last week as follows: 0=Not present; 1=Mild; 2=Mode­rate; 3=Severe

Common Drug Effects

Bad taste in your mouth
Blurred vision
Delayed urination
Difficulty having an erection
Difficulty having an orgasm
Dry Mouth
Frequent urination
Heart racing or Pounding
Increased appetite
Muscle twitching or clenching
Other stress problems
Poor concen­tration
Poor sleep
Ringing in your ears
Spasms or drawing of muscles
Swelling (hands, feet, face, etc.)
Tingling or numbness
Uncomf­ortable urge to move about
Weight gain



1. What is an adverse drug event (ADE)?
An adverse drug event is “an injury resulting from the use of a drug. Under this defini­tion, the term ADE includes harm caused by the drug (adverse drug reactions and overdoses) and harm from the use of the drug (including dose reductions and discon­tin­uations of drug therapy).” Adverse Drug Events may results from medication errors but most do not.

2. What is an adverse drug reaction (ADR)?
An adverse drug reaction is a “response to a drug which is noxious and unintended and which occurs at doses normally used in man for prophy­laxis, diagnosis, or therapy of disease or for the modifi­cation of physio­logic function.” Note that there is a causal link between a drug and an adverse drug reaction. In sum, an adverse drug reaction is harm directly caused by the drug at normal doses, during normal use.

3. How does an ADR differ from a side effect or allergy?
An allergy is an adverse drug reaction mediated by an immune response (e.g., rash, hives). Aside effect is an expected and known effect of a drug that is not the intended therap­eutic outcome. The term “side effect” tends to normin­alize the concept of injury from drugs. It has been recomm­ended that this term should generally be a voided in favor of adverse drug reaction.

4. What is a medication error?
Medication errors are mishaps that occur during­pre­scr­ibing, transc­ribing, dispen­sing, admini­ste­ring, adherence, or monitoring a drug. Examples of medication errors include misreading or miswriting a prescr­iption. Medication errors that are stopped before harm can occur are sometimes called “near misses” or “close calls” or more formally, a potential adverse drug event. Not all prescr­ibing errors lead to adverse outcomes. Some do not cause harm, while others are caught before harm can occur “near-­mis­ses”).