Initiation of a pharmacovigilance programme at a tertiary care hospital in South India

Nandakumar Narayanaswamy, Surulivel Rajan Mallayasamy, Anand R. Manoharan, S. D. Rajendiran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: India is a country with the availability of a large number of pharmaceutical preparations as branded generics. At the time of this study there was no established pharmacovigilance system at the national level except a co-ordinating centre at the national capital. The study site was a tertiary care teaching hospital with a bed capacity of 500 and with an average of 200 outpatient visits and 50 inpatient admissions per day. The hospital did not have any system of monitoring and documenting adverse drug reactions. The objective of the study was to introduce an adverse drug reaction (ADR) monitoring programme at a tertiary care teaching hospital and assess ADR-related issues in both inpatient and outpatient departments. Method: All departments willing to report ADRs were included in the study, which was carried out for one year. Physicians and nurses filled in the notification forms when they encountered suspected ADR cases. These cases were then assessed by a panel of four judges. According to Naranjo's algorithm, the ADRs were assessed and classified based on World Health Organization (WHO) classification. Key findings: A total of 288 suspected cases were reported and 264 ADRs were confirmed by the panel. According to Naranjo's probability scale, 83 cases were categorized as 'probable', 181 cases were classified as 'possible', and none were classified as 'unlikely' or 'definite'. The most common classes of drugs involved were antibiotics (25%), psychotropics (20%), analgesic and cardiovascular agents (14% each). Generalised itch and rash, tremors, urticarial drug reaction, oral ulcer, gastritis and akathesia and extrapyramidal symptoms were found to be the most common ADRs observed; 2.1% of the patients in the studied departments had ADRs. Conclusion: The ADR reporting system was initiated at the hospital and was well received by the physicians. Appreciable participation of physicians was noted during the study in reporting ADRs. The study also gave an insight into the awareness of physicians about ADR-related issues. The number of ADRs reported was reasonably comparable with the findings of other authors from India.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-73
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-03-2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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