Michael Jackson’s Death Illustrates the Danger of Adverse Drug Reactions

The tragic death of Michael Jackson has the potential to create an important “learning moment” for physicians and patients. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, adverse drug reactions are the “4th to 6th leading cause of death” in the US. The published reports of Mr. Jackson’s medications illustrate an important issue- any two drugs may be safe in combination but the cumulative effect of many drugs can be difficult to detect and very dangerous, especially in people with reduced drug processing capacity.

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