A side effect is an unexpected reaction that occurs as a result taking a medication. Some side effects are mild while others can be fatal. The FDA, for example, assesses medications both on their efficacy as well as the dangers associated with side effects. The chances are that a drug won’t be available to the general public if the negatives outweigh the positives. The severity and magnitude of side effects are affected by a number of factors. Included in this are the other medications that a person may be taking, their current health, allergies, and weight. Some side effects may not be harmful. Some drugs, for example, can reduce acne or increase hair growth. A doctor may have prescribed a new drug. Watch out for these five common side effects.
1. Feeling sick to the stomach
A feeling of nausea or upset stomach is the desire to vomit. The digestive system interacts with most medications first, before they are taken orally. The nauseous reaction is triggered by the interaction between stomach acid and the stomach lining. Common causes of nausea are antibiotics and pain medications. To prevent nausea, most doctors recommend taking medications with a meal or light snack.
2. A major headache
Headaches may be caused by a lack in food, sleep or water, as well as prolonged exposure to the sun. Don’t exclude medication as a possible cause. Headaches can be a side effect of many medications, including birth control, HRT and nitrates. Even medications for headaches may cause headaches. It can be hard to find the cause of the pain. Look for foods, recreational drugs or alcohol which may interact with the medication. Consider reducing the dose of non-prescription medicine or discontinuing it altogether. If headaches persist after taking prescription medicine, consult your doctor.
3. Do you feel a bit parched?
Dry mouth can be a side effect from hundreds of different medications. Dry mouth can be caused by antidepressants and antibiotics. Blood pressure medications, diuretics and insomnia drugs are also common. These drugs reduce the production of saliva in the mouth. The majority of cases are mild, and only require adequate hydration. Non-alcoholic mouthwashes can be helpful. The doctor can also determine the type and dosage of the medication to help reduce the risk of dry mouth.
4. Weight gain that is unexpected
Some people are surprised that they gain weight despite a healthy diet and lifestyle. It could be that you are taking a prescription drug. Some medications have different effects on your body which can lead to weight gain. Insulin, for example, can increase the production of fat cells. Certain medications can increase your appetite. Some drugs can increase the storage of glucose or slow down metabolism. Start managing your diet and exercising. In some cases, the doctor may adjust the dosage. Do not hesitate to speak with your doctor immediately.
5. Heart rhythm disorders
Do not ignore chest pains, a fluttering of the heart or shortness in breath. Heart palpitations can be caused by medications such as antidepressants and thyroid medication. This side effect may be dangerous. Speak to a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will be able to assess the type of medication and dosage, and can take steps to reduce symptoms.
Side effects are serious. The side effects of drugs and patients are different. Before prescribing a medication, doctors will carefully consider this fact. Inform the doctor about your diet, medications, recreational drugs or supplements. Even the smallest amount of information could be harmful. Follow the instructions of your doctor to deal with any unwanted side effects. Seek help immediately if the side effects affect your quality of life, or are potentially life-threatening.