Four of every 1,000 emergency department visits were related to adverse drug events, according to a study in today’s issue of JAMA. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined nationally representative data from 58 U.S. EDs participating in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse drug Event Surveillance project to determine the prevalence and characteristics of ED visits for adverse drug events. Twenty-seven percent of ED visits for adverse drug events resulted in hospitalization. Anticoagulants, antibiotics, diabetes agents and opioid analgesics were the most common drug classes involved, accounting for 47% of ED visits for adverse drug events. Antibiotics were the most common drug class implicated among children and adolescents, while anticoagulants, diabetes agents and opioid analgesics were implicated in 60% of ED visits for adverse drug events among those age 65 and over. “Targeting adverse drug events common among specific patient populations, such as among the youngest (age 19 years or less) and oldest (age 65 years and older), may help further focus outpatient medication safety efforts,” the authors write.