Difference Between ADR and ADE

ADR, called adverse drug reaction, is any retaliation to a harmful, toxic, and unplanned drug that occurs at doses and is used in human diagnosis or therapy for a disease excluding failure to achieve the intended purpose. ADR is a conceptual and practically orthodox drug.


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ADE, called an adverse drug event, is an unfavourable drug event that tells the injuries resulting from drug use. It includes the harm caused by drugs and harmful reactions from using the medicine. A causal association is not found between the drug and the event.

Key Takeaways

  1. ADR (American Depositary Receipt) is a negotiable financial instrument that represents a specified number of shares in a foreign company, allowing investors to trade and own shares of the company on US stock exchanges; ADE (Adverse Drug Event) is an injury resulting from the use of a medication, which can include side effects, medication errors, or allergic reactions.
  2. ADRs facilitate international investment by providing a mechanism for US investors to own shares in foreign companies without directly purchasing the shares on foreign stock exchanges; ADEs represent harmful events associated with the use of pharmaceutical drugs.
  3. ADRs and ADEs are unrelated terms, with ADRs about financial instruments and investment, while ADEs involve drug-related harm and patient safety.


ADR (Adverse Drug Reaction) refers to any harmful or unwanted reaction that occurs after exposure to a medication, whether it is prescribed, over-the-counter, or herbal. ADR doesn’t have any medical errors. ADE includes all medical errors (name confusion of drugs, mis-administration, miscalculations, etc.)


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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonADRADE
ConceptAny toxic and harmful change suspected to be due to a drug typically used in man and occurs at doses.Any medical occurrence which is not expected but present during treatment with a pharmaceutical product.
Causal RelationshipA causal connection between the drug and the event is suspected.No need to have a Causal relationship.
What it depictsDepicts allergies and side effects.Depicts harm caused by a drug and harm from its uses.
Medical ErrorsMedical errors are not included in the definition.Medical errors are included in the definition.
Common ExampleAn allergic reaction from medication.Aspiration pneumonia after over-sedation secondary to morphine overdose.


What is ADR?

ADR is a reaction that is stated for a particular drug in the instruction description given by the drug manufacturer. ADR is more dangerous from side effects, and the risk of hospitalization is also higher in patients due to ADR.

Here, we have a causal between the medicinal product and the adverse event. Compared to side effects, Adverse Drug Reaction has less constancy than others. It is the contusion developing because of the use of the drug.

What are the most common ADRs?

  1. Nausea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Fatigue
  4. Constipation
  5. Diarrhoea
  6. Skin reactions
  7. Drowsiness
  8. Anorexia

What are the 2 significant types of ADR?

  1. Augmented/Predicted ADR– Based on the pharmacological properties of a drug. It is a more common type of ADR. This type of ADR is primarily preventable and reversible. 
  2. Bizarre/Unpredictable ADR- Based on the peculiarities of a patient. It is a less common type of ADR. This type of ADR is more severe and requires drug withdrawal. It includes hypersensitivity/allergy, Idiosyncrasy.
adr 1

What is ADE?

It is an injury resulting from medical involvement related to a drug. The appearance of an ADE does not usually depict any delusion or care and protection of a low level.

ADE is a curable result of an error of an inappropriate medication that outstretches the patient and causes them harm.

It is roughly calculated that approximately 50% of ADEs are preventable. Here, we do not have a causal association between a drug and an adverse event. ADE is one of the most familiar intense events preventable in all positions of supervision and protection.

What are the Prevention Methods for ADE?

  1. Avoid redundant use of medicines by sticking to the orthodox authorized concept.
  2. Medication settlement when there is a need for adjustment in care and supervision.
  3. Reduce intrusion to enable and permit the nurses to administer medications safely.

What are the 2 significant types of ADEs?

  1. Potential ADE- These are the curable and protected adverse drug events that result from a delusion in the wrong medication that goes to the patient and causes them a lot of harm. Half of the total ADE cases are preventable.
  2. Ameliorable ADE- These are the nonpreventable adverse drug events. It is the kind of ADE in which a patient undergoes harm from a medication that will not be completely preventable. These are popularly known as side effects.

Main Differences Between ADR and ADE

  1. When the relation between a regulated drug and a reaction’s occurrence is identified, it is called an adverse drug reaction. In contrast, when the relationship between a regulated drug and the occurrence of an event is not specified, it is called an adverse drug event. 
  2. Medical errors containing miscalculations, name confusion of drugs, mis-administration, etc., are included in ADE, whereas these all are not included in ADR.
  3. The persistence of ADR is less as compared to ADE.
  4. In ADR, the harm is directly caused to a person, whereas, in the case of ADE, harm does not need to be directly caused to the person.
  5. ADR represents allergies and minor side effects, whereas ADE represents harm caused by a drug and hazardous effects from its uses.
  6. ADR has more exposure to risk if compared with ADE, as ADR has many dangerous results.
  7. ADR is always related to the administered medicinal product, and ADE is not always (may or may not) related to the administered medicinal product.
Difference Between X and Y 97
  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/009286159102500214
  2. https://bmcmedinformdecismak.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12911-016-0293-4
  3. https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/19798475
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1 thought on “Difference Between ADR and ADE”

  1. I am in the USA and I am allergic to mushrooms, my doctor has given me medication in the ADR category. I want to know about ADE also. you explained it well.

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