In a general practice in Derbyshire 298 patients who had been given antibiotics were questioned about possible adverse reactions to the drug prescribed. Four methods of assessing adverse effects of drugs in the community were used, and a comparison was made of the replies elicited from patients by doctor and health visitor respectively. Significant differences were shown to occur in the way in which each investigator completed the questionnaires. If ancillary staff are to be employed in monitoring adverse effects of drugs in the community on a large scale then they will have to use a method less reliant on the differentiation of incidental symptoms from drug side effects than is required in the present survey.
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