Comparative safety of non-opioids
The safety of drugs is often evaluated on the basis of the frequency of occurence of a single drug-associated adverse event (AE). In doing this, the profile and incidence of other AEs are not taken into account. An approach to the evaluation of the public health impact of AEs with non-opioid analgesics has now been taken in which the total risk of short-term use of these drugs in the community was estimated. The three dimensional approach involved evaluation of the qualitative profile of AEs, their frequency and occurence, given in terms of the common health outcome measure, mortality. Using peer-reviewed publications for the period 1970 to 1995, drug-related mortality in association with the use for one week of NSAIDs, dipyrone, paracetamol and propyphenazone was calculated and expressed as the expected number of deaths among one million users for the following AEs: agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, anaphylaxis and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Ten publications on a total of 11 studies were selected, which provided data on the overall incidence rate of AEs with non-opioid analgesics, case fatality rates and relative risks.
KeywordsAplastic Anemia Case Fatality Rate Public Health Impact Total Risk Respective Number
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