It’s very important to be aware of the potential side effects of any medicine you’re taking. Side effects may occur when you take the medicine for the first time or if you suddenly stop taking the medicine. Some of these side effects can even be dangerous. Your healthcare provider will be able to recommend a different medicine if the side effects persist. Some side effects may be due to an interaction with another prescription drug or non-prescription product.
The European Commission recommends that drug labels include a list of common side effects. This list should be based on frequency rather than relative risks when compared with a comparator. The frequency of side effects is often misunderstood by laypeople and health care providers as a measure of the severity of a drug’s occurrence in a population. Therefore, the frequency of side effects may not be a good indicator of how a drug works.
While serious side effects are the most common, mild reactions can also be devastating, affecting the quality of your life. The FDA recommends that you inform your healthcare provider about any potential side effects you may experience when taking a medicine. The agency can add a black box warning to a drug label or remove it from the market if the side effects are so severe. If the drug is safe to use, the side effects are usually minor.
Food can also interfere with the body’s processing of a medicine. This is known as drug-nutrient interactions. Eating certain types of food may cause medicines to be less effective, resulting in a negative side effect. Food-medicine interactions may occur when you take medicines by mouth and eat foods that contain the medicines. If you take medicine with food, you may not be absorbing enough of the medicine. In such cases, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.
While the FDA encourages people to report medication side effects, they cannot ensure the safety of the drug. This is because adverse effects must be investigated in human clinical trials before they become an intended side effect. Some side effects are due to non-compliance, which is when a patient does not follow his doctor’s instructions. However, the most common time for a medication to produce an adverse effect is when a patient first uses it or changes the dosage.
To minimize the chance of side effects, your provider will discuss the potential side effects of a medicine with you in detail. The aim is to prescribe a medicine that will produce the desired benefits without causing harmful side effects. Your provider may have to try more than one medicine before achieving the desired results. He or she may also make changes to the medicine to prevent certain side effects. Only if the expected benefit is greater than the side effects, will a medicine be prescribed.
There are many unwanted side effects of a medicine. Some medicines can cause a reaction when taken together, making the other one weak or stronger. This may result in a worse condition than you had before taking it. During clinical trials, doctors report adverse effects and serious side effects to the FDA, and a medicine may be the culprit. If you are taking medicine for a cold, you might experience a side effect resulting in dementia, or a fall.