Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Senior Lecturer Ruth Savage

MB BS MSc (U Newcastle upon Tyne)

Email ruth.savage@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 364 3603

Ruth has been Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Practice since 2009. She undertakes research in adverse drug reaction monitoring (pharmacovigilance) and rational prescribing and has experience in pharmacoepidemiology studies.

Ruth is responsible for part of the undergraduate general practice teaching modules and is also involved in postgraduate teaching to general practitioners and other health professionals where she emphasises the need to recognize adverse drug reactions and strategies to avoid them or minimise the harm they may cause. The relevance of her teaching and research to clinical practice is in large part due to her extensive clinical experience primarily in rural general practice and also rheumatology.

Ruth is also Senior Medical Assessor in the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM), New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre, Dept of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin where a high proportion of the suspected adverse reaction reports submitted by health professionals are from primary care. She is also an expert advisor to the New Zealand Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee.

As a consultant to the Uppsala Monitoring Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring, Uppsala, Sweden Ruth also undertakes research and provides training in international pharmacovigilance.

Research Interests

  • Pharmacovigilance and Rational Prescribing
  • Detection of previously unrecognized adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and interactions in national and international databases of ADR reports.
  • Assessing if the outputs from automated methods of detecting suspected adverse reactions from large databases are clinically relevant.
  • Assessment of ADR case reports to determine risk factors for individual ADRs.
  • Assessment of ADR case reports to determine if prescribing behaviour has allowed specific ADRs or interactions to occur and how this can be modified.

Summer Student Supervision

2017-18

Jamie Go
Topic: Diabetes care in general practice - Access to the Retinal Screening Pathway
Supervisor(s): Dr Ruth Savage and Deborah Callahan
Sponsor: Pegasus Health (Charitable) Trust

2015-16

Anna Hulme
Topic: Evaluation of a Telephone Based Brief Intervention Model for Smoking Cessation
Supervisor(s): Leigh Aston and Dr Ruth Savage
Sponsor: Pegasus Health (Charitable) Trust

2012-13

Lucy Peterson
Topic: Reducing barriers to practice nurse involvement in general cervical screening and understanding effective methods of inviting and engaging priority women in cervical screening in general practice.
Supervisors Ruth Savage, Kim Burgess, Jackie Cooper
Sponsor: Partnership Health Canterbury PHO

2011-12

Nicole Sycamore
Topic: Drug utilisation study of paracetamol in the community in children aged under twelve years through paracetamol questionnaires.
Supervisors: Ruth Savage, Kathryn Henshaw
Sponsor: Pegasus Health

2010-11

Talia Wise
Topic: Why do General Practitioners and practice nurses differ in their behaviours and attitudes towards performing and coding of CVD risk assessment?
Supervisors: Ruth Savage, Pip Mason
Sponsor: Partnership Health Canterbury

^ Top of page

Publications

Wilson, G., Windner, Z., Bidwell, S., Currie, O., Dowell, A., Halim, A. A., Toop, L., Savage, R., Ranaweera, U., Beadel, H., & Hudson, B. (2021). 'Here to stay': Changes to prescribing medication in general practice during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand. Journal of Primary Health Care. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1071/hc21035

Rocca, E., Gauffin, O., Savage, R., Vidlin, S. H., & Grundmark, B. (2021). Remdesivir in the COVID-19 pandemic: An analysis of spontaneous reports in VigiBase during 2020. Drug Safety, 44, 987-998. doi: 10.1007/s40264-021-01091-x

Wilson, G., Currie, O., Bidwell, S., Saeed, B., Dowell, A., Halim, A. A., Toop, L., Richardson, A., Savage, R., & Hudson, B. (2021). Empty waiting rooms: The New Zealand general practice experience with telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1538), 89-101. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Russom, M., Fitsum, Y., Abraham, A., & Savage, R. L. (2021). Diclofenac and the risk of rhabdomyolysis: Analysis of publications and the WHO Global Pharmacovigilance Database. Drugs: Real World Outcomes. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s40801-021-00240-z

Bennett, M., Chang, C. L., Tatley, M., Savage, R., & Hancox, R. J. (2021). The safety of cardio-selective beta1-blockers in asthma: Literature review and search of global pharmacovigilance safety reports. ERJ Open Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1183/23120541.00801-2020

Rocca, E., Gauffin, O., Savage, R., Vidlin, S. H., & Grundmark, B. (2021). Remdesivir in the COVID-19 pandemic: An analysis of spontaneous reports in VigiBase during 2020. Drug Safety, 44, 987-998. doi: 10.1007/s40264-021-01091-x

Journal - Research Article

Russom, M., Fitsum, Y., Abraham, A., & Savage, R. L. (2021). Diclofenac and the risk of rhabdomyolysis: Analysis of publications and the WHO Global Pharmacovigilance Database. Drugs: Real World Outcomes. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s40801-021-00240-z

Journal - Research Article

Wilson, G., Currie, O., Bidwell, S., Saeed, B., Dowell, A., Halim, A. A., Toop, L., Richardson, A., Savage, R., & Hudson, B. (2021). Empty waiting rooms: The New Zealand general practice experience with telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1538), 89-101. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Wilson, G., Windner, Z., Bidwell, S., Currie, O., Dowell, A., Halim, A. A., Toop, L., Savage, R., Ranaweera, U., Beadel, H., & Hudson, B. (2021). 'Here to stay': Changes to prescribing medication in general practice during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand. Journal of Primary Health Care. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1071/hc21035

Journal - Research Article

Hegerius, A., Caduff-Janosa, P., Savage, R., & Ellenius, J. (2020). E-learning in pharmacovigilance: An evaluation of microlearning-based modules developed by Uppsala Monitoring Centre. Drug Safety, 43, 1171-1180. doi: 10.1007/s40264-020-00981-w

Journal - Research Article

Kuan, I. H. S., Savage, R. L., Duffull, S. B., Walker, R. J., & Wright, D. F. B. (2019). The association between metformin therapy and lactic acidosis. Drug Safety, 42, 1449-1469. doi: 10.1007/s40264-019-00854-x

Journal - Research Article

Maggo, S. D. S., Savage, R. L., & Kennedy, M. A. (2016). Impact of new genomic technologies on understanding adverse drug reactions. Clinical Pharmacokinetics, 55(4), 419-436. doi: 10.1007/s40262-015-0324-9

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. L., Zekarias, A., & Caduff-Janosa, P. (2015). Varenicline and abnormal sleep related events. Sleep, 38(5), 833-837. doi: 10.5665/sleep.4686

Journal - Research Article

Harrison-Woolrych, M., Maggo, S., Tan, M., Savage, R., & Ashton, J. (2012). Cardiovascular events in patients taking varenicline: A case series from intensive postmarketing surveillance in New Zealand. Drug Safety, 35(1), 33-43. doi: 10.2165/11597690-000000000-00000

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. L., Star, K., & Hill, R. (2012). Severe muscle symptoms with lipid-lowering agents may be confused with neurogenic claudication associated with spinal canal stenosis. International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, 24(4), 215-219. doi: 10.3233/jrs-2012-0577

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. L., Kunac, D. L., & Johansson, J. (2009). Appraising the post-marketing safety of medicines: A description of national and international pharmacovigilance with a focus on medicines used in chronic pain. Current Anaesthesia & Critical Care, 20(5-6), 215-220. doi: 10.1016/j.cacc.2009.07.013

Journal - Research Article

Gwynne Jones, D. P., Savage, R. L., & Highton, J. (2008). Alendronate-induced synovitis. Journal of Rheumatology, 35(3), 537-538.

Journal - Research Article

Jenks, K. A., Stamp, L. K., O'Donnell, J. L., Savage, R. L., & Chapman, P. T. (2007). Leflunomide-associated infections in rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Rheumatology, 34, 2201-2203.

Journal - Research Article

Tatley, M., & Savage, R. (2007). Psychiatric adverse reactions with statins, fibrates and ezetimibe: Implications for the use of lipid-lowering agents. Drug Safety, 30(3), 195-201.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. L., Highton, J., Boyd, I. W., & Chapman, P. (2006). Pneumonitis associated with leflunomide: A profile of New Zealand and Australian reports. Internal Medicine Journal, 36, 162-169.

Journal - Research Article

Gwynne Jones, D., Savage, R., & Highton, J. (2005). Synovitis induced by alendronic acid can present as acute carpal tunnel syndrome. BMJ, 330, 7482, 74. doi: 10.1136/bmj.330.7482.74

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2005). Cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors: When should they be used in the elderly? Drugs & Aging, 22(3), 185-200.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2005). Thiazolidinediones and lowered high density lipoprotein cholesterol. WHO Signal, February, 6-8.

Journal - Research Article

Coulter, D. M., Clark, D. W., & Savage, R. (2003). Celecoxib, rofecoxib, and acute temporary visual impairment. British Medical Journal, 327, 1214-1215.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2002). A dangerous trio. Medsafe Prescriber Update, 23(2), 20.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2002). Can patients stomach COX-2 inhibitors? Medsafe Prescriber Update, 23(2), 18-19.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2002). Loratadine. WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter, (2), 12.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2002). Proton pump inhibitors. WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter, (2), 12.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2002). Venous thromoembolism with Diane 35 TM and Estelle 35TM. Medsafe Prescriber Update, 23, 2-3.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2001). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines and lower gastrointestinal tract damage. Prescriber Update, 21, 25-27.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2001). Tiaprofenic-acid and cystitis. Prescriber Update, 2, 18-21.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. (2000). Omeprazole-induced interstitial nephritis. Prescriber Update, 20, 11-13.

Journal - Research Article

Savage, R., & Coulter, D. M. (2000). Oral contraceptives and venous thromboembolism [Letter]. New Ethicals Journal, 24.

Journal - Research Article

The ADR Signals Analysis Project (ASAP) Team, including Savage, R. (1997). How does cystitis affect a comparative risk profile of tiaprofenic acid with other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs? An international study based on spontaneous reports and drug usage data. Pharmacology & Toxicology, 80(5), 211-217. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0773.1997.tb01962.x

Journal - Research Article

Bennett, M., Chang, C. L., Tatley, M., Savage, R., & Hancox, R. J. (2021). The safety of cardio-selective beta1-blockers in asthma: Literature review and search of global pharmacovigilance safety reports. ERJ Open Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1183/23120541.00801-2020

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. L., Hill, G. R., Barnes, J., Kenyon, S. H., & Tatley, M. V. (2019). Suspected hepatotoxicity with a supercritical carbon dioxide extract of Artemisia annua in grapeseed oil used in New Zealand [Brief research report article]. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 10, 1448. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01448

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. L., & Tatley, M. V. (2018). Case series analysis of New Zealand reports of rapid intense potentiation of warfarin by roxithromycin [Short communcation]. Drug Safety, 41(5), 515-521. doi: 10.1007/s40264-017-0634-y

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. L., Castellano, M., & Tatley, M. V. (2017). International reports of unexpected low plasma concentrations of dabigatran suggest that more frequent measurements will add value. Seminars in Thrombosis & Hemostasis, 43(6), 635-638. doi: 10.1055/s-0037-1603361

Journal - Research Other

Castellano, M., Sartori, D., & Savage, R. (2016). Dabigatran and thromboembolism: Analysis of case histories for risk factors. WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter, 3, 15-22. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/newsletter/en/

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (2016). Vemurafenib and atrial fibrillation: Signal strengthening. WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter, 1, 17-22. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/newsletter/en/

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (2015). Brentuximab and hepatic disorders. WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter, 2, 17-22. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/PharmaNewsletter2_15/en/

Journal - Research Other

Wells, J. E., Cross, N. B., Savage, R. L., Parkin, L., Horsburgh, S., & Richardson, A. K. (2015). Renal replacement therapy associated with lithium nephrotoxicity in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 128(1425). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (2014). Tocilizumab: Psoriasis and aggravated psoriasis. WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter, 2, 16-21. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/PharmNewsletter2_14/en/

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (2013). The New Zealand Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring: A source of practice-based evidence. Journal of Primary Health Care, 5(2), 170-173. doi: 10.1071/HC13170

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (2012). Dronedarone, hyperthyroidism and decreased thyroid stimulating hormone. WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter, 4, 14-18. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/PharmNewsletter4_12/en/

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (2012). Venlafaxine, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and related disorders of pregnancy. WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter, 1, 19-22. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/PharmNewsletter1_12/en/

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. L. (2010). Leflunomide in combination therapy for rheumatoid arthritis [Editorial]. Drug Safety, 33(6), 523-526. doi: 10.2165/11532390-000000000-00000

Journal - Research Other

Meyboom, R. H. B., Star, K., Bate, J., Savage, R., & Edwards, I. R. (2008). TNF-α inhibitors and leukaemia: International pharmacovigilance reports [Letter to the editor]. Drug Safety, 31(5), 445-447. doi: 10.2165/00002018-200831050-00013

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (2007). Serious reactions with tramadol: Seizures and serotonin syndrome. Prescriber Update, 28(1), 11-13.

Journal - Research Other

Ng, J., Savage, R., & McQueen, F. (2005). Churg-Strauss vasculitis syndrome and leukotriene receptor antagonists [Research Letter]. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 64, 1382.

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. L., & Kiuru, A. (2005). Thiazolidinediones and lowered HDL cholesterol [Research Letter]. Diabetes Care, 28(9), 2329-2330.

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R., & Tatley, M. (2004). Myopathy with statins: Check CK levels and interactions. Prescriber Update, 25(1), 4-5.

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (1997). Current debate: Oral contraceptives and venous thromboembolism. PreMec Bulletin, November.

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (1997). Oral contraceptives and venous thromboembolism [Letter]. New Zealand Medical Journal, 107, 109.

Journal - Research Other

Savage, R. (2013). Donepezil: Syncope, heart block and beta-adrenergic blockade. Prescriber Update, 34(3), 30. Retrieved from http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/publications/prescriber-update.asp

Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

More publications...