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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Adverse effects of medicine in Australia

The top ten drugs used by Australians were linked to 2925 adverse events and 67 deaths in the last five years, an exclusive analysis of the adverse events data base of the national drug watchdog has found.
Since 2007, the most commonly used drugs have been linked to 950 cases of musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, 633 nervous system disorders, 331 cases of respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders and 286 cases of psychiatric disorders.
The cholesterol lowering medicine Atorvastatin produced the highest number of adverse events between 2007 and 2011, and was linked to 815 reports of side effects including 13 deaths.
Paracetamol, found in common over-the-counter products such and Panadol, was being taken in more than one third of deaths linked the ten most commonly used drugs.
Twenty-four deaths were reported as being linked to Paracetamol between 2007 and 2011 but the TGA says this does not mean the drug directly caused these deaths.
"An adverse event report does not mean that the medicine is the cause of the adverse event and should not influence a person's decision to stop taking a medicine,'' the TGA says.

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