Understanding Side Effects Of Medications

Side effects of medications, OTC pharmacy
Understanding Side Effects Of Medications

Be it aspirin, or any one of the most sophisticated prescription medications available today; they all come with both announced and unannounced side effects. A majority of the known side effects are negligible and some are just inconvenient. There are also a few medications, the side effects of which are serious. Therefore, you need to understand medication side effects to avoid them.


The most common side effect of medicines that we take orally involves the gastrointestinal system. Almost all drugs can result in stomach problems or nausea, even though it can occur to very few people. Skin irritation can be a common complaint with medicines that are used on the outside.


To know more about the side effects of a medicine, check the label of OTC medicines or the printed materials or package inserts of prescription medications. As the inserts usually have a long list of possibilities, you may also have to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what to look out for.


Types Of Medication Side Effects 

An allergic reaction may occur due to the consumption of any medication. This can range from small side effects like rashes and itching to life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. The chemical structure of some medications can trigger side effects and allergic reactions. A few other medications have barely noticeable side effects when they are consumed at dosages directed by medical professionals. Usually, medications like warfarin used to prevent blood clots work well. However, they can lead to serious internal bleeding in the wrong situation.


In some cases, side effects can arise when a medication is mixed with some other things. This is called a drug interaction. For instance, drinking alcohol when using narcotic painkillers may result in accidental overdose. This has resulted in many deaths. Another instance is using grapefruit juice. Having grapefruit juice can affect the blood levels of many drugs which include some medicines used to control cholesterol and blood pressure.


The Role Of FDA 

Before a medicine is made available in the market, it should be approved by the FDA. The New Drug Applications that are submitted by the pharmaceutical companies have proof that the medicine has the effect it is supposed to have and that it is safe for use. This evidence is provided after testing the medicine, first in animals and then in human beings. After questions of safety and efficacy of the medication are settled, the medicine will be approved by the FDA if it finds that the benefits of the medication outweigh its risks.