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What to know about medication safety

Harm from medication is a common reason for trips to emergency departments. Often this harm can be prevented.

Harm from drugs

  • Each year more than 1 in 200 people in the U.S. visit an emergency department due to harm from medications
  • About one third of these ED visits involve non-therapeutic uses of a drug such as abuse, self-harm, unintentional overdose, and unsupervised use by children
  • For people age 65+ the rate of ED visits each year due to drug harm increases to 1 in 80, almost always involving therapeutic use of a drug


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