Body & Sports

Adverse effect from TCM injections warned by drug watchdog

Updated: 2015-07-20
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Overall cases of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in 2014 remained on a par with the previous year, but those involving traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) injections had a noted rise, according to a report of China's drug watchdog.

The annual ADR report is a key reference for safety supervision over drugs on the market. More than 1.3 million ADR cases were reported in total, a 0.8 percent year-on-year increase. Injections took up 60.9 percent of the total, up 2.2 percentage points, said a report released Friday by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).

TCM injections were responsible for 127,000 ADR cases, up 5.3 percent year-on-year, the most significant increase across all types of drugs. Among them, 6.7 percent were severe cases.

"Different from TCM drugs taken orally or applied on the skin, TCM injections usually have more complicated ingredients and are used together with other drugs. Improper dosage or injection speed are very likely to induce adverse effects," said Li Yishi, a doctor with Beijing's Fuwai Hospital, an institution associated with the Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

The CFDA urged hospitals to exercise caution when prescribing TCM injections along with other medicines, believed to be the main cause of the increase.
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