All Medication Comes With A Catch
Over the decades, science, research, and medicine have all combined to create medication for most diseases. These medications can treat, suppress, and even cure diseases. These facts are the reason why the pharmaceutical market is a multibillion-dollar industry. More than 48% of Americans take at least one prescription drug. With medication comes inevitable side effects that affect each patient differently.
What’s a side effect?
A side effect is simply an unexpected reaction as a result of taking a drug. Some side effects can be mild, while others could be life-threatening. Bodies like the FDA assess medications for both the efficacy and dangers of side effects. If the bad outweighs the good, chances are the drug will not become available to the public. Of course, several factors impact the scale and severity of side effects. This includes if the person is taking other drugs, current health, weight, and allergies. Not all side effects are harmful. For example, some drugs can increase hair growth or reduce acne. Did a doctor recently prescribe a new medication? Then look out for these 5 common side effects.
1. Sick to the stomach
Nausea or an upset stomach is that feeling of wanting to vomit. Most medications are taken orally, with the digestive system interacting with these drugs first. Interaction with the stomach acids and stomach lining triggers the nauseous response. Antibiotics and pain medication are common culprits. Most doctors would recommend taking medication with meals or a light snack to prevent nausea.
2. A major headache
Headaches can happen from a lack of food, sleep, water, or prolonged sun exposure. But don’t rule out medication as an underlying cause. Headaches are a common side effect of medications like birth control, HRT, and nitrates. Even medicines for headaches can cause headaches. Finding the reason for the pain can be difficult. First, look for any foods, recreational drugs, or alcohol that can be interacting with the medication. If the medicine is non-prescription, consider a smaller dose or stopping altogether. For prescription medication, seek medical advice if the headaches persist.
3. Are you feeling a little parched?
Dry mouth is a common side effect of hundreds of medications. Antidepressants, antihistamines, antibiotics, blood pressure medication, diuretics, and insomnia medication are just some of the drugs that cause dry mouth. Most of these drugs inhibit the body’s ability to produce saliva, giving that dry mouth feeling. Most cases are mild and simply require proper hydration. There are non-alcoholic mouthwashes that can help. A doctor can also assess the dosage and type of medication to reduce the chances of dry mouth.
4. Unexpected weight gain
Despite a healthy lifestyle, some persons are surprised to have unwanted weight gain. The problem could be a prescription medication. Some medications can have different effects on the body, which can respond with weight gain. For example, insulin can increase the creation of fat cells. Some medications can increase appetite. Other drugs can slow metabolism or increase glucose storage. The best bet is to start managing diet and exercise. There may be some circumstances where the doctor can adjust the dosage. Don’t hesitate to have a conversation with the doctor right away.
5. Heart rhythm disorders
Don’t ignore a fluttering heart, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Medications like antidepressants, some supplements, steroids, thyroid medication, and asthma medication can cause heart palpitations. This side effect could be potentially dangerous. Make sure to speak with a doctor immediately. The doctor can assess the medication type and dosage and take action to reduce the symptoms.
Take side effects seriously
Side effects are often unavoidable and vary with each drug and each patient. Doctors will consider this fact carefully before prescribing medication. Let the doctor know about diet, current medicines, recreational drugs, or supplements. Leaving out just the slightest bit of information can be dangerous. Make sure to follow the doctor’s instructions to manage any unwanted side effects. If the side effects are hampering the quality of life or are life-threatening, seek help immediately.