Short communication: pattern of adverse drug reaction related queries received by the drug information centre of a tertiary care teaching hospital

Pak J Pharm Sci. 2007 Oct;20(4):333-9.


Accurate information about safety of drugs is very essential for health care professionals in identifying, preventing and managing Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs), thereby ensuring safe use of medications. The objective of the present study was to assess the pattern of drug information (DI) queries related to ADRs received by the Drug Information Center (DIC) of a tertiary care teaching hospital. Retrospective evaluation of the DI queries received in the DIC over a period of three and a half years (January 2002-July 2005) was done for various parameters such as purpose and type of query, characteristics of the drugs and reactions involved, and references used. Out of 2312 DI queries received, 600 (25.9%) were related to ADRs. Majority of the queries were from the department of medicine (80.5%) and was received during ward rounds (76%). In most of the queries, the information was sought for better patient care (66.3%) and the enquirer wanted the information immediately (59.5%). The category of ADR queries most commonly asked was regarding identification of an ADR (54.3%). Considering the reaction characteristics, the organ system most commonly involved in the queries was nervous system (14.7%) and the reaction was fever and skin rash (14%). Most of the queries were on uncommon reactions. Drug class most commonly involved in the queries were antibacterials for systemic use (18.6%) and the most frequently involved drug was phenytoin (35%). MICROMEDEX system was used as the reference in answering most (57.1%) of the queries. Information on ADRs is among the most sought information on drugs by the health care professionals. Evaluation of pattern of these queries could reveal opportunities for educational and other interventions in promoting safer drug use in a health care setting. DICs could play a major role in promoting drug safety and it needs to be well equipped to respond to these needs.

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems / classification
  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Information Services / organization & administration*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 500 and over
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • India
  • Retrospective Studies