Drug Withdrawal Reactions

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Adverse Drug Effects

Apart from drugs that are usually recognised as producing dependence, sudden interruption of therapy with certain other drugs also results in adverse consequences, mostly in the form of worsening of the clinical condition for which the drug was being used...


DRUG WITHDRAWAL REACTIONS

 

Apart from drugs that are usually recognised as producing dependence, sudden interruption of therapy with certain other drugs also results in adverse consequences, mostly in the form of worsening of the clinical condition for which the drug was being used, e.g.:

 

§  Acute adrenal insufficiency may be precipitated by abrupt cessation of corticosteroid therapy.

 

§  Severe hypertension, restlessness and sympathetic overactivity may occur shortly after discontinuing clonidine.

 

§  Worsening of angina pectoris, precipitation of myocardial infarction may result from stoppage of β blockers.

 

§  Frequency of seizures may increase on sudden withdrawal of an antiepileptic.

 

These manifestations are also due to adaptive changes and can be minimized by gradual withdrawal.

 

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