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Drug sensitivity or Drug intolerance is a lower threshold to the normal pharmacologic action of a drug. It is not to be confused with drug allergy. Drug intolerance is uncommon and idiopathic, thus extremely difficult to predict except in persons with a prior history or a family history of intolerance to that specific drug. Some drug intolerances are known to result from genetic variants of drug metabolism.
- Tinnitus after a normal dose of aspirin
- Liver failure (possibly also kidney failure) after a normal dose of acetaminophen
- Fatal poisoning in a breastfed newborn baby due to normal use of codeine by the mother
Intolerance to analgesics, particularly NSAIDs, is relatively common. Its cause is believed to be variation in the metabolism of arachidonic acid. Symptoms include chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, asthma, gastrointestinal ulcers, angioedema, and urticaria.
- Madadi P, Koren G, Cairns J, et al (January 2007). Safety of codeine during breastfeeding: fatal morphine poisoning in the breastfed neonate of a mother prescribed codeine. Can Fam Physician 53 (1): 33–5.
- Förster U, Olze H (April 2008). [Analgesic intolerance (AI). Key position of ENT physicians for early detection of this condition]. HNO 56 (4): 443–50; quiz 451.
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