Thursday, Dec 08, 2022
Outlook.com
health: drug reactions

Patient Watching

A large programme to record adverse effects of drugs brings hope

Patient Watching
Tribhuvan Tiwari
Patient Watching
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

On Guard...

  • Many Indians report reactions to drugs every year—yet very little action is taken
  • India tends to rely on adverse reactions reported overseas, though the impact of drugs varies with genetics, diet etc
  • Every year, around 300 new drugs are introduced in India
  • Drugs are banned off and on, but being rarely backed by large studies, bans have little impact
  • Now, by doing large studies of drug reactions, rare reactions should come to light. Spurious and low-quality drugs could also get unearthed.

***

Many years ago, Monica Bhowmick, a Mumbai resident, discovered the hard way that she was intolerant to drugs containing sulpha, or sulphonamide, among the oldest synthetic antibiotic groups and a common constituent of painkillers. A dentist she was visiting, she recalls, may have recommended the medicine. “I suddenly broke into a tremendous rash,” she says. The eruption  vanished when Monica took an anti-allergic pill. Since then, she has been careful not to take sulpha-containing drugs.

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