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Adverse effects drugs and Pharmacovigilance

“It is our concern, it is our impatience which spoils all and almost all the human beings die of their remedies, and not of their diseases.” Béralde in “Le Malade Imaginaire”, Molière, 1673.

An adverse effect of a drug can be defined as any damage caused to the patient by this drug. The study of adverse effects and their prevention are the object of pharmacovigilance.

The adverse effects of a drug should not be dissociated from its beneficial effects. A drug effective against a serious illness, a cancer for example, is very welcome even it has some adverse effects. On the other hand, it is difficult to accept that a drug of doubtful efficacy or intended to treat a minor illness induces important or frequent adverse effects. The prescription of a drug must hang in the balance its beneficial and its adverse effects.

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