British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
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Aims Adverse drug reactions are a common problem affecting adults and children. The economic impact of the adverse drug reactions has been widely evaluated; however, studies of the impact on the quality of life of children with adverse drug reactions are scarce. The aim was to evaluate studies assessing the health-related quality of life of children with adverse drug reactions. Methods We conducted a systematic review that included the following electronic databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library (including the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register and the Health Technology Assessment Databases). Results Nine studies were included. Four of the studies were conducted in children with epilepsy; the rest of them involved children with chronic viral hepatitis, Crohn's disease, paediatric cancer and multiple adverse drug reactions compared with healthy children. Based on their findings, authors of all studies concluded that adverse drug reactions had a negative impact on the quality of life of children. No meta-analysis was conducted given the heterogeneous nature of the studies. Conclusions To date, there is no specific instrument that measures quality of life of children with adverse drug reactions, and the information available is poor and variable. In general, adverse drug reactions have a negative impact on the quality of life of affected children. For those interested in this area, more work needs to be done to improve tools that help to evaluate efficiently the health-related quality of life of children with adverse drug reactions and chronic diseases.