175 Norwegians died of medicinal side effects in 2018

MedicineMedicine.Photo: Gorm Kallestad / SCANPIX

175 Norwegians died in 2018 as a result of side effects from medicines. It is the second highest number of fatalities ever recorded, only topped by 179 in 2015.

The figures come from this year’s adverse reaction report from the Norwegian Medicines Agency which Dagbladet newspaper has been given access to.

The report also states that in 2018 the Norwegian Medicines Agency received 5,623 reports on the side effects of medicines, which is the highest number ever. 30% of cases were classified as serious.

Also in 2018, blood-thinning drugs were at the top of the list, with 57 deaths. At the very top of the list was Apiksaban (Eliquis) with 23 deaths, followed by Warfarin (Marevan) by 11.

‘’Blood-thinning drugs are vital treatment for many patients, but it is also a treatment that can cause serious side effects’’ said Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Medicines Agency to Dagbladet. One possible side effect may be cerebral haemorrhage because the blood becomes too thin.

Behind blood-thinning medications are cancer drugs and agents that affect the immune system (with 48 lethal outcomes in 2018), followed by 44 deaths due to side effects associated with drugs acting on the nervous system.

The report was published in News About Drugs and in the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association on Tuesday.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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