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Postgrad Med. 1999 Sep;106(3):163-8, 171-2.

Ways to minimize adverse drug reactions. Individualized doses and common sense are key.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, USA.


The great majority of adverse drug reactions are dose-related and occur in patients taking standard doses of medications. These facts suggest that for many patients, standard drug doses may be excessive. The principle of variability among individuals, which requires tailoring the dose to the patient, needs to be reasserted in clinical medicine to reduce the incidence of side effects. Physicians should obtain patients' histories of drug reactions and have at hand information on the full range of effective drug doses, including data on low doses gathered in prerelease and postrelease drug studies. Whenever possible, manufacturers should provide a range of doses and breakable tablets to facilitate flexible dosing.

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