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May 6, 1974

Drug-Induced Illness Leading to Hospitalization

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, College of Medicine (Drs. Caranasos and Cluff), and the College of Pharmacy (Mr. Stewart), University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

JAMA. 1974;228(6):713-717. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230310023021

During a three-year period, drug-induced illness, excluding suicide attempts and drug abuse, accounted for 2.9% of admissions to a medical service. There were proportionately fewer admissions for patients under 61 years of age than for those over. A considerably greater number of white women than black women or men were affected. More than 6% of these patients died.

Eight drugs (aspirin, digoxin, warfarin sodium, hydrochlorothiazide, prednisone, vincristine sulfate, norethindrone, and furosemide) produced a third of the illnesses. In 18% of the cases an over-the-counter drug was implicated.

Hemorrhagic effects occurred frequently. The cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and hemopoietic systems were most often involved. Drug allergy was the mechanism of the adverse drug effect in 17.6% of the illnesses. The remainder were due to pharmacological mechanisms.

(JAMA 228:713-717, 1974)