Adverse reactions: Suggested questions

Last updated: Sunday, July 05, 2015


They may not apply to every situation you come across, but there are some questions you should be thinking about in practice.

The Medicine


  • Identify all current and recent medication (including OTC products, complementary medicines and potential substance misuse).
  • Establish when the suspected reaction began.
  • Which medicines were started before the ADR began, and how long have they been taken for?
  • Is there anything that raises a suspicion that one medicine is responsible for the ADR? Has the suspect drug been stopped, and has the ADR improved as a result?

The Patient


  • Ask for details of the suspected reaction including signs, symptoms, and severity.
  • Consider any history of ADRs and/or allergies.
  • Ask about biochemistry (e.g. renal function, liver function) and patient age if relevant.
  • Ask how the patient has been managed so far, and how he/she is now.


Going Forward


  • How is it planned to manage the ADR?
  • Is there a different medicine that might be suitable for the patient's condition?