Adverse effects of neuromuscular blocking agents based on yellow card reporting in the U.K.: are there differences between males and females?

KP Light, AT Lovell, H Butt, NJ Fauvel, A Holdcroft

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are known to occur during anaesthesia; in the U.K. such ADRs may be reported through the Yellow Card Scheme (YCS). Our aim was to determine the demographics of ADRs to neuromuscular blocking drugs without formal causality assessment. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of ADRs to seven neuromuscular blocking drugs reported via the YCS during a greater than 30-year period was performed. Sex and age were analysed in order to identify at risk groups. RESULTS: Of 998 reports, 969 included gender. Non-allergic suspected reactions occurred with almost the same frequency as those with an allergic component. The majority occurred in females 676 (70%), and significant sex differences were measured between drugs. Males were more likely to have suffered an ADR to atracurium (p = 0.01) whilst females experienced more ADRs to suxamethonium (p = 0.01). ADRs proved fatal in 81 (9%) of the 950 reports for single drugs. Mortality following suxamethonium was significantly higher in males at 22% compared with 9% females (p <0.001). More women than men were reported to have allergic reactions, 73% (362/499) compared with 27% (137/499) respectively. The female:male ratio for ADRs was reversed for subjects <10 years compared with peak ADR reports during the decade from 31-40 years. CONCLUSIONS: Sex differences in mortality exist in this analysis. The unexpected high frequency of non-allergic ADRs suggests that morbidity and mortality from reactions to established drugs is twice that expected from allergic reactions alone. Standards and guidance for the reporting of ADRs warrant urgent development.
    Translated title of the contributionAdverse effects of neuromuscular blocking agents based on yellow card reporting in the U.K.: are there differences between males and females?
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)151 - 160
    Number of pages10
    JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
    Volume15
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher: Wiley Interscience

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