, Volume 63, Issue 11, pp 983-984
Date: 20 Sep 2007

Drug-related risks

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When using or prescribing any kind of old or new drugs one should remember some classical recommendations:

  • “Primum non nocere—first do not harm” (Galen and Hippokrates).

  • “Was ist das nit Gifft ist? Alle Ding sind Gifft und nichts ohn Gifft. Allein die Dosis macht, das ein Ding kein Gifft ist—all things are poison and not without poison, only the dose makes a thing not a poison” (Philipp Aureolus Theophrast Bombast von Hohenheim called Paracelsus [1493–1541], 3. Kärtner Defension 1538).

  • “Be not the first by whom the new are tried, nor yet the last to lay the old aside” (Alexander Pope, 1688–1744).

  • In the past few years, several popular drugs (e.g. mibefradil, cerivastatin, terfenadine, astemizole, cisapride, troglitazone, rofecoxib, valdecoxib, nelfinavir, tegaserod) had to be withdrawn from the market because of safety problems. In a recent meta-analysis, a significant increase in the risk of myocardial infarction (odds ratio 1.43; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.98, p = 0.03) and a borderline-signific ...