Anti-diabetes drugs are on the list of medications that cause as many as 28 percent of visits to hospital emergency rooms. Other drug classes frequently linked to ER visits include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (N-SAIDS), anti-convulsants, antibiotics, respiratory drugs, hormones, central nervous system drugs and cardiovascular drugs.

Adverse drug reactions, nonadherence to instructions and inappropriate prescribing were most commonly listed as causes of the ER visits. The researchers, who obtained their information from a literature review, note that 70 percent of the visits were preventable and that as many as 24 percent resulted in hospital admission.

They advise doctors and pharmacists to more closely monitor patients and to provide and reinforce care plans.

Pharmacotherapy, July 2002

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