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An Overview of Drug toxicity

V. Dhanapal Venkatachalam*

Professor and HOD, Sanjo College of Pharmaceutical Studies, Kerala India

*Corresponding Author:
V. Dhanapal Venkatachalam
Professor and HOD Sanjo College of Pharmaceutical Studies Kerala,

Received date: 14/5/2021; Accepted date: 18/5/2021; Published date:25/5/2021

Visit for more related articles at Research & Reviews: Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicological Studies


Toxicity refers to how poisonous or noxious or unsafe a substance can be. With regards to pharmacology, drug poisonousness happens when an individual has collected too much medication in his circulatory system, prompting adverse effects on the body. Drug toxicity may happen when the drug is given in excessively high or the liver or kidneys cannot eliminate the medication from the circulation system, permitting it to aggregate in the body.


With specific drugs, drug toxicity can likewise happen as an adverse reaction (ADR). For this situation, the regularly given remedial portion of the medication can cause accidental, destructive and undesirable results.

Now and again, for example, with the medication lithium, the limit between what is a powerful dose and what is a harmful dose is extremely thin. A therapeutic dose for one individual may be harmful to someone else. Medications with a longer half-life can accumulate in an individual's circulation system and increases over the time period. Furthermore, factors like age, kidney capacity, and hydration can influence how rapidly your body can clear a drug from your framework or system. This is the reason for lithium requires continuous blood testing to monitor the levels of the medication in your circulation system.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and side effects of toxicity vary contingent upon the medicine. In case of lithium, various manifestations can happen contingent upon whether the harmfulness is intense or acute (once ingestion by somebody who has not been taking it) or persistent/chronic (the impact of a lethargic development of the drug to poisonous levels by somebody who is accepting it as endorsed).

Mild symptoms of acute lithium toxicity includes loose stools, vomiting, sickness, stomach pain, regurgitating and fatigue. More serious manifestations can include hand tremors, ataxia, muscle jerks, mumbling, uncontrolled eye movements, fits, unconsciousness and in uncommon cases, heart issues. Chronic lithium toxicity shows various side effects, including slurred speech, tremors and expanded reflexes


Acute toxicity is more effectively analyzed, as the manifestations will follow the one-time administration of drug. Blood tests can likewise evaluate for levels of the medicine in the individual's circulation system.

Chronic toxicity is difficult to analyze. Halting the medication and then "re-challenging" it, later on, is one technique for testing whether the indications are brought about by the medicine. This technique can be risky, notwithstanding, if the prescription is fundamental and doesn't have an identical substitute.


There are a few manners by which drug toxicity might be dealt with. Assuming the toxicity is the consequence of an acute overdose, an individual may go through stomach siphoning to eliminate drugs that have not yet been consumed. Activated charcoal might be given to bind the medications and keep them from being retained into the blood (instead eliminated from the body through stool).