What Are Medication Side Effects And How To Avoid Them?

What Are Medication Side Effects And How To Avoid Them?

Side effects are unwanted effects that a person might experience after taking wrong doses of medication. The treatment may include medicine, therapy or some surgical procedures. The type of effect patients feel depends on various factors such as health, age, weight, gender and the medication they are taking using pill reminder app.

According to experts, a side effect is an unexpected medical problem that occurs as a result of taking medications.

Though easy to cure in general, in cases when side effects become worse, they can result in hospitalization, permanent health damage, or even death.

What Causes Medication Side Effects?

All types of medications can have side effects. The medication can be anything – a prescription med, over-the-counter (OTC) drug, herbs, or a vitamin supplement.

Patients should immediately connect with specialists in case of unusual changes in health while taking medications.

Non-adherence or non-compliance are two of the common reasons behind medication side effects.

Some common examples include:

  • Not taking medications as prescribed by specialists (missing doses or taking higher than recommended amount)
  • Discontinuing medications without doctor’s advice
  • Allergic reaction to drug’s ingredients
  • A drug killing not only affected cells but also the healthy ones
  • Interactions between multiple medications

What Are Some Dangerous Drug Interactions That Can Cause Serious Side Effects?

Drug interactions occur when the activity of a drug is affected by another substance, such as food, a vitamin, or another drug. These interactions may increase or lower the drug’s effect.

Some common examples of drug interactions include:

Drug-drug interactions

These interactions occur when two or more drugs interact with each other. For example, aspirin and warfarin are known as blood thinners. If taken together, they can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.

Drug-food interactions

These interactions occur when a food reacts with a drug’s ingredients and alters its effect. For example, statin is known for lowering cholesterol levels, but when taken with high-fat foods, it will have a reverse effect that increases those levels.

OTC interactions

OTC medications can also trigger dangerous interactions resulting in serious side effects.

To avoid these interactions, it is important to tell your doctor which drugs you are already taking, before getting prescribed a new medication.

The risk of these interactions is higher in places where medications can be bought without prescriptions.

What Are the Common Types of Side Effects?

Medication side effects can be divided in two categories: mild and severe. Examples of mild side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Skin rash or dermatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

Examples of severe effects include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Internal bleeding
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Cancer

Different patients experience these effects at different levels. For example, researches have shown that only 1 in 10 patients will experience headaches as a result of drug interactions, while the abnormal heartbeat is rare and only occurs in 1 in every 100 patients.

It is important to ask your specialist what effects may occur before getting new drugs. The specialist should also tell whether the side effect is going to be mild or severe.

Remember that different drugs can have different side effects. Know what your current medications might cause will help you take appropriate preventive measures and leave you less exposed to those effects.

How to Deal with Medication Side Effects?

Taking medications using pill tracker app heals our sickness, eases our pain, and prevents serious damage to health. But sometimes, even when they do their job perfectly, some serious side effects may occur. Treatment of those side effects is possible by:

Knowing What to ExpectKnowing What to Expect

As mentioned earlier, side effects can occur with any medication. From OTC drugs to birth control pills and herbs to vitamins or supplements, anything can have a wide range of side effects.

Those who are on prescription drugs can experience stomach problems like nausea, diarrhea, or other issues because these medications pass through the digestive system. While those who are on antidepressants, or muscle relaxants may suffer from dizziness, drowsiness, or feel irritable at times.

Therefore, knowing what negative effects to expect from your pack of medications and how to effectively counter those is very important for a healthy life.

Asking for HelpAsking for Help

Ask from your doctor about the common side effects of the medication being prescribed.

You and your specialist should be working together to make sure you are on the right track. Doing so will also help you understand which side effects are dangerous, which ones are not, and which ones can be prevented.

Once you start to notice unexpected symptoms while taking medications, you should inform your doctor as soon as possible.

After examining those symptoms, your doctor will decide whether you should stick with your current plan or need a new one.

Making Lifestyle Changes

In addition to medications, your lifestyle plays a big role in determining whether or not you will experience side effects. For example, you can prevent a number of risky side effects by avoiding alcohol or certain foods.

Moreover, if your antidepressants are causing you to gain weight, its high time you started paying attention to your diet and exercise plan.

Deciding What’s Most Important

You can ignore temporary side effects such as ingestion, diarrhea, dry mouth, etc. as they pose no serious threat to health. But in case of serious side effects (memory loss, dizziness, abdominal pain, etc.), it may be time for a change.

Remember that medications that can cause dizziness should not be your preferred option if alternatives are available. This is because such medications increase the risk of falling in older adults and can cause side effects that result in death.

Deciding which medication to take using medication management app and which one to avoid takes a bit of trial and error, but this also provides a solution that doesn’t require any lifestyle changes.