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Monday, January 29, 2007

"Mommy, your eyes are yellow!": An adverse drug reaction

Beth Hollister lives a fast-paced life. She's a mother, homemaker and a world-traveling business woman: "I don't get sick. I'm somebody that works 40, 50, 60 hours a week."

She's just now getting enough strength to get back on the road after suffering a severe drug reaction two years ago. She said, "My son actually came to me one day. He said, 'Mommy, your eyes are yellow.'" The medicine she had been taking for an ear infection led to a much bigger problem. Her liver was failing; it couldn't process ("metabolize") the drug. Two years later, after discontinuing the medicine, Beth still feels the drug's effects. Now: "I feel like I'm just getting back on track, but that I still have some fatigue." Tired -- but getting better every day.

As the liver doctor who diagnosed Beth's problem commented, "Different people need different amounts of drugs. Every drug, even the best drugs, can be bad for some people."

Advice: Remember that even common drugs can cause problems in the wrong patient. And listen to your kids when they speak as your health advocate.

Read another adverse drug story, or read the full account of this one.

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