From Big Medical Encyclopedia

DRUG DISEASE — the term for the first time offered in 1901 by E. A. Arkin for designation of the skin rashes caused by medicines. Since the beginning of the 50th of 20 century the term «drug disease» began to be used in medical literature by nek-ry authors for designation various manifestation of side effect of pharmaceuticals on an organism. At the same time a part of authors uses the term «drug disease» as the collective concept including practically all possible types of undesirable side effects which can be observed at use of drugs. However is more often this term only separate manifestations of side effect of pharmaceuticals are designated. So, e.g., some authors refer to the concept «drug disease» allergic, toxic and specific endotoxic reactions to drugs, and also dysbacteriosis and the superinfections developing in the course of use of chemotherapeutic means; other authors suggest to distinguish only two forms of «drug disease» — allergic reactions and dysbacteriosis. Sometimes the term "drug disease" is used in narrower sense — for designation only of nonspecific reactions of an organism to drugs, i.e. various manifestations medicinal allergy (see). There is also an opposite point of view, according to a cut «drug disease» is meant as the side effects which are not connected with hypersensitivity of an organism to drugs i.e. with an allergy and an idiosyncrasy.

Also definitions which are given by nek-ry authors to the term «drug disease» are very ambiguous but to the contents. So, e.g., «drug disease» is defined as «manifestation of intolerance by nek-ry people of side effect of pharmaceuticals» and also as «the painful phenomena arising after more or less prolonged use of any medicinal substances» that in fact is close to definition of side effect of drugs in general. In other cases «drug disease» is defined as the phenomenon of individual intolerance of certain drugs or supersensitivity to them or as «one of the most significant clinical forms of allergic reaction of an organism to medicines» that corresponds to definition of a medicinal allergy, i.e. one of types of side effect of drugs.

Thus, the term «drug disease» is used in modern medical literature in various values. At the same time the general for all cases of the use of this term is that it is used or as a synonym of the term side effects pharmaceuticals (see), or for designation of separate manifestations of this action. As the contents of the term «drug disease» are a subject of discussions, are inexpedient to use this term instead of development of medical science of the term «side effect of pharmaceuticals», conventional at the present stage.

Besides, it is irrational to apply the term «drug disease» instead of the term «side effect», proceeding from reasons of a medical deontology since use of this term assumes in advance that use of drugs leads to development of a special, related disease. For the same reasons it is necessary to recognize inexpedient use in medical literature (especially in popular) and other terms (e.g., «diseases of medical progress», «diseases medical agressin», «pathology of therapy», etc.) which are sometimes used in the sense close to the term «drug disease».

Main editorial office BME.