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Definition and classification of adverse reactions to drugs and chemicals — Some genetic and environmental aspects

Definition und Klassifikation von Nebenreaktionen auf Arzneimittel und Chemikalien — Einige genetische und umgebende Aspekte

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Adverse reactions to drugs and chemicals often mimic the signs and symptoms of allergic disorders of any type, without involving the immunological mechanisms ordinarily causing these disturbances. The overriding importance both of the genetic make-up of the individual and of the environment in the development of untoward drug reactions is stressed in this report, contributing in a small way to therapy and prophylaxis. The structure of the plasma membranes of the histamine stores (the mast cells) should be examined more closely as this may give a valuable clue as to the cause of altered reactivity to different stimuli.


Nebenreaktionen auf Arzneimittel und Chemikalien imitieren oft die Zeichen und Symptome von allergischen Krankheiten aller Typen, ohne daß die immunologischen Mechanismen, die in der Regel diese Störungen bedingen, miteinbezogen sind. Der enormen Bedeutung von beiden, der genetischen Grundlage des Einzelnen sowie der Umgebung in der Entwicklung von ungünstigen Arzneimittelreaktionen wird in diesem Beitrag Rechnung getragen und soll so ein wenig zur Therapie und Prophylaxe dieser Reaktionen beitragen.

Die Struktur von Plasmamembranen der Histaminspeicher (den Mastzellen) sollte näher untersucht werden, weil hier wertvolle Hilfen für die Gründe der unterschiedlichen Reaktivität auf verschiedene Stimuli zu erhalten sind.

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West, G.B. Definition and classification of adverse reactions to drugs and chemicals — Some genetic and environmental aspects. Klin Wochenschr 60, 939–940 (1982).

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Key words

  • Adverse reactions
  • Allergy
  • Pseudo-Allergy
  • Histamine release


  • Nebenreaktionen
  • Allergie
  • Pseudollergie
  • Histaminfreisetzung