Side effects are medical problems associated with a patient taking a certain drug or medication. These effects may occur after a treatment going beyond its desired effects. These medical conditions can also occur aside from the wanted therapeutic effects of a treatment, medications or drugs. These reactions are being regarded as unwanted secondary effects that may vary and differ depending on a patient’s weight, disease, age, gender, overall and general health and even ethnicity. Each and every medication includes its own side effects, and should always be consulted with a physician before a patient decides to take them.
These potential conditions do not only result from taking different medications, but can also happen after getting vaccinations, and other forms of treatments and therapies. One treatment that can result to a lot of side effects is chemotherapy. Some medications can result to side effects when used together with another drug, therapy or medical treatment. The degree of the side effects that a patient may experience will be based or will depend on the studies made on these medical treatments, drugs and medications which will show the percentage of the patients who developed the different side effects.
The Different Range of Side Effects
Unwanted symptoms that can be caused by taking drugs, medications or treatment are also referred to as adverse reactions or adverse effects. Many, if not all, drugs have possibilities of making a person develop these unwanted effects. This usually happens if a patient decides to take something that is not prescribed by their doctor. Side effects often range from milder symptoms such as nausea and drowsiness. However, it is important to understand that these adverse effects can also result to life threatening conditions if a patient’s reaction is severe and serious. The risk of developing these symptoms may vary depending on many different factors.
Importance of Knowing the Different Side Effects that may Occur
It is very important for patients and the people who are taking care of them that, while many types of treatments and medications may have a list of the possible side effects, these problems are rarely experienced, if not, at all. Some people may develop certain side effects, but only for a short amount of time. However, it is good to know that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now requiring all types of medications and drugs to include information listing all the possible side effects, possible conflicts and contraindications if other drugs are being taken by a patient or if certain conditions are currently present.
An example of this is through advertisements. You will notice that drug advertisements in magazines include a list of extensive information about the drug or the medication itself, and a list of possible side effects that may occur when taken, or if used together with another form of drug or if certain conditions are currently present. Even in television ads, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are requiring these commercials to include the possible side effects that may occur, contraindications and possible conflicts. An example of this is the ads about women who are over 35 years of age are advised not to take hormonal birth control drugs if they are smoking.
Research and Know More about a Medication’s Side Effects
An extensive list including all possible side effects and adverse reactions to a drug may cause a patient to be scared of taking that specific medication and to question the effectiveness of that drug. The best thing to do is to take some time to research on these different drugs and what may cause the occurrence of its side effects. A patient can ask their primary physician if taking the drug will possibly cause them to experience these unwanted problems.
However, it is essential that a patient will understand the risks involved in developing any side effect after taking a medication. It is also important to know that taking this risk can be atoned for by the benefits of the medication. An example of this is the drug Tegretol® used as seizure and bipolar medication. One common side effect of this drug is hair loss; however, if this specific medication provides effective results in treating your condition, then the risk of having hair loss is worth taking to improve your medical situation.
Predictable Side Effects and Unpredictable Adverse Reactions
Most often, a patient may experience predictable side effects after taking a medication. This usually happens because of how the medicine will work. An example of this is taking anticholinergic medications. This type of drug is designed to reduce and alleviate intestinal muscle spasms. However, the side effect of this drug can result to other muscles in the body relaxing as well, and may result to retention of urine, dry mouth and blurred vision. On the other hand, unpredictable side effects or those unexpected symptoms may result to a patient experiencing allergies. This type of side effects does not develop due to how a certain type of medication works. These symptoms should be reported immediately to avoid agitating a patient’s current medical condition since it can affect the other organs of the body, especially the heart.
Having stated all these facts, all patients as well as those who are taking care of them should always look more into the different side effects that a medication, a drug or a treatment can result to. While most reactions to drugs are mild, there is still a risk of a patient developing severe side effects, so it is very important to know what may trigger these adverse effects and prevent them from happening.