Drug side-effects complaints reach record level

Monday, March 14th 2005, 10:28 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Food and Drug Administration received more than 422,500 reports of drug side effects last year, a record, the agency said Monday.

Final figures won't be available until spring but the preliminary estimate was confirmed by spokeswoman Laura Alvey.

That tops the 370,887 reports of what the agency calls ``adverse events'' in 2003.

Agency officials attribute the rise to increased use of prescription drugs rather than an increase in risk from the drugs.

Drug makers are required to tell the agency any instances of side effects reported to them and FDA also hears directly from patients and physicians.

The increase in reported side effects was first reported by USA Today.