Along with its intended
drug may cause a number of unwanted side effects. These effects can
happen when you start a new medication, decrease or increase the dose
of a medication, or when you stop using a medication.
A side effect that
occurs in one
percent or more of people taking a specific medication is considered by
medical researchers to be caused by that medication. Examples of common
drug side effects include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, dry
mouth, headache, itching, and muscle aches and pains.
Some side effects may be
require medical attention, while others may be mild and of little
concern. Severe or annoying side effects are one of the main reasons
why people stop taking their medications. If you are having worrisome
side effects, your doctor may want to change your dose, try a different
medication in the same drug class, or recommend some type of dietary or
All Medications Have Side Effects?
All medications used for
treatment of any type of health condition can cause side effects.
However, many people who take a drug or a combination of drugs have no
side effects or minor side effects.
Your likelihood of
effects from your medications may be related to your age, weight, sex,
and overall health. Additionally, ethnicity and race or the severity of
your disease may increase the possibility of side effects. These
factors may determine if you experience side effects from your
medications, the severity of your side effects, and their duration.
Should I Call My Doctor About a Side Effect?
It is important for you
familiar with the potential side effects of your medications and what
you should do if you have signs of them. Also, it is essential that you
let your doctor know if you are having side effects. Although many side
effects are minor and not harmful, they can be a sign of danger or an
indication that your drug is not working properly.
your doctor if you notice any of these side effects, if it is severe:
Loss of appetite
Problems with coordination
Ringing in the ears
Skin rashes or hives
Swelling of hands or feet
Syncope (loss of consciousness or fainting)
any side effects worry you, call your healthcare provider!
Since some side effects
may not make
you feel ill, your doctor may want you to have regular laboratory tests
to detect any problems early. For example, if you are taking a statin
drug for high cholesterol, such as Lipitor (Atorvastatin), your doctor
most likely will recommend that you have a liver function test before
you start the drug, 12 weeks after you start therapy, and periodically
I Stop Taking My Medication if I have a Side Effect?
Do not stop taking your
without talking to your physician first. If you think you are having a
serious side effect that is of immediate danger to your health, call
911 or go to your local emergency room.
All drugs have benefits
The risk is the chance of a serious side effect from your medication.
These risks can be less serious, such as a mild stomach ache. They can
interfere with the quality of your life, such as causing sexual
problems. Or, they are potentially life-threatening, such as liver
damage. With guidance from your healthcare provider, you will need to
balance the risks and benefits of any treatment.
Should I Ask My Doctor and Pharmacist About Drug Side Effects?
What are the possible side effects of this drug?
Which side effects am I most likely to have?
How soon will the side effects start?
How long will the side effects last?
Will the side effects go away by themselves?
Can I do anything to prevent the side effects?
Do I need to have any tests to monitor for side effects?
Are there any dangerous side effects I should know about?
What should I do if I have a side effect?
If I have a side effect, are there other drugs I can take?
Can I Find Information About My Drug’s Side Effects?
Your local pharmacy:
When you have a
prescription filled, your pharmacist should give you a printout that
provides you with information about your drug, including possible side
effects. If your medication has specific warnings about potentially
dangerous side effects, your pharmacist must give you a medication
guide required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assure
that you are aware of any known serious side effects.
If you are not given
drug fact sheet
or a medication guide, ask your pharmacist. And, if you have any
questions about your medications, ask the expert, your pharmacist!
Drugs A to Z: This drug
guide has in
depth information on several thousand prescription and over-the-counter
medications. Each drug profile in the guide includes facts about side
effects that you should report to your healthcare provider as soon as
possible as well as side effects that usually do not require medical
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When stop taking Blood Pressure Medication one might get STROKE and die, BUT when start taking Cholesterol Medication one might get sever Arthritis, Gout and other muscular pain etc., and what about Thyroid and other medications, so where to draw boundary line, one has to be intelligent. Always go for multiple opinion.