Senior Health

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about geriatric health.

What is an adverse drug event (ADE)?

An adverse drug event (ADE) is when someone has a bad reaction to a medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

ADEs cause more than 700,000 emergency department visits in the U.S. each year. Nearly 120,000 patients have to be hospitalized annually because of the ADEs.

Adults age 65 and older are twice as likely as other people to visit emergency departments because of ADEs.


Symptoms of an ADE include the following:

  • Swelling of the lips, tongue and face
  • Breathing problems
  • Itching
  • Flushing
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Stomach ache or diarrhea
  • Coughing

Talk to your physician for more information about adverse drug events.

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Source: Geetha Ambalavanan, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Suzanne Bell, MD, Vandalia Family Care; Archie Enoch, MD, Fairfield Road Physician Offices; Anoopa Hodges, MD, Oakwood Primary Care; Berry McCorkle, MD, Premier Infectious Disease; Elaine Scott, CNP, Brookville Family Care; Pamela Werner, MD, Miami Valley Primary Care