Adverse reactions: Learning outcomes

Last updated: Monday, January 22, 2018

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Decide whether a patient's reaction is caused by a drug or not.
  • Adopt a practical approach to managing adverse reactions, and advising other professionals about them.
  • Talk to patients about side effect risks and advise them about managing ADRs if they occur.

You can download a PDF of the whole tutorial (without interactive elements such as the Learning Exercises) and a one-page summary of key points.

You should allow 90 minutes to complete this tutorial, including the Learning Exercises.


This tutorial is aimed at hospital pre-registration pharmacists, and will help you achieve GPhC standards such as these:
  • A1.6  Make decisions which demonstrate clear and logical thought
  • A3.1  Recognise and define actual or potential problems
  • A3.2  Identify workable options to resolve the problem
  • A3.3  Select the best solution, based on sound analysis and appropriate evidence
  • B1.4  Elicit all relevant information by the use of appropriate questions
  • C2.7  Recognise possible adverse-drug reactions, evaluate risk and take action accordingly

If you are a foundation pharmacist, this tutorial may help you meet competencies from the RPS framework including:
  • 1.4  Selection of the medicine (medicine-medicine, medicine-patient, medicine-disease interactions)
  • 1.7  Monitoring medicine therapy
  • 3.2  Knowledge (adverse events)
  • 3.3  Analysing information
  • 3.4  Providing information

Continuing professional development

Finally, here are some CPD activities you could consider:

★  Next time that you identify an ADR meeting the MHRA criteria, report it via the Yellow Card Scheme. Write a CPD entry on what you have learned about the reporting process. Were there any aspects of it that caused you difficulties?
★  Reflect on the best ways in which you can keep abreast of medicine safety issues. Do you feel that you are up-to-date enough about safety issues when you screen prescriptions on your wards or in the dispensary? Write an account summarising how prepared you feel to meet your professional responsibilities.
★  If you feel that your handling of an ADR or safety issue has not gone entirely to plan, take time to meet with a colleague to discuss it. Write this up as a CPD exercise. What did you learn that might make you tackle the situation differently next time, and do you feel more able to support patients as a result?