Prescription Drugs And Possible Side Effects
Scientists and doctors are always trying to discover safer, more effective treatments, but finding a perfect medical solution is not always possible. Many prescription drugs are accompanied by side effects that range from mildly irritating to extremely serious.
The most important factor for you, as a patient, is to be aware of any possible side effects before you begin your course of treatment. Ask your medical professional what the potential issues are and the likelihood that they will relate to you. Side effects range from the very common (affecting 1 in 10 patients) to the very rare (1 in 10,000).
Perhaps the most common side effect when taking prescription medicine is gastrointestinal issues because most drugs have to travel through the digestive system in order to be absorbed. As a result, patients may experience nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps or vomiting.
If you do encounter gastrointestinal issues then it is quite likely that you won’t be able to take additional medication to help, as this may interfere with your primary treatment. Instead, try to eat smaller meals at regular intervals rather than more sizable ones, eat slowly and try relaxation methods whenever you start to feel the symptoms emerging.
Allergic reactions to certain prescription drugs can cause skin conditions, including some very common antibiotics. Of course, if you have never taken a particular medicine before then this will be very difficult to foresee, but your skin condition should clear up between one and two weeks after you’ve completed your medication.
These conditions are often referred to as a maculopapular rash and can begin in various places. If you do develop a maculopapular rash on your face or body, speak to your doctor to determine whether it is safe for you to come off your medication.
Another common reaction to prescription drugs is drowsiness. Although not the most debilitating of side effects, it should still be monitored. Make sure you do not drive, for example, if you are taking any medication that can cause drowsiness or operate dangerous machinery. Ask your physician if it is possible for you to take your medication before bed in order to mitigate the impact of this particular side effect.
Reducing the likelihood of side effects
Although it is impossible to prevent prescription side effects completely, you can reduce the likelihood of them happening to you. Firstly, make your doctor aware of any previous reactions you’ve had in the past, as this may lead them to prescribe a different form of medication. Secondly, make sure you follow all the accompanying guidelines. This may include refraining from drinking alcohol or cutting out certain foods from your diet.
If you do start to notice any unwanted side effects as a result of your medication, your first step should be to notify your doctor. In the majority of cases, the minor discomfort of the side effects will be outweighed by the benefits of your medication and you will be advised to continue with your treatment. In other cases, doctors may be able to switch you to an alternative treatment, but always follow the advice of health professionals.