Understanding Side Effects
May 1, 2011 in Drug Side Effects
Any medicine may produce unwanted or unexpected side effects (also known as adverse drug reactions). Many side effects are linked to the way the medicine works to treat a patient.
Some side effects, however, are not linked in this way and can be unpredictable. As individuals, different patients may respond in different ways to the same medicine. For this reason, it is often difficult to predict how different patients will respond to a medicine, including whether they will experience any side effects.
No effective medicine is completely free of side effects, however, most side effects are relatively uncommon. In general, the majority of people who take a particular medicine do not experience any serious side effects. Even side effects that are described as common may only occur in a few people in every 100 who take the medicine.
When you decide with your doctor that you should take a medicine, you should consider not only the risk that you may possibly experience a side effect, but also the benefit that you will gain from the medicine, and the risks of not treating the condition. For instance, if you are taking a medicine to treat a life threatening illness, you might be more willing to accept the possibility of more serious side effects than if you are simply treating a cold or a headache.
When determining whether a medicine should be granted a license for use, an analysis of the risk-benefit balance of the medicine is undertaken. ith information from trials, the potential benefits of the medicine in curing or relieving the symptoms of the condition for which it is intended to be used are considered alongside:
The medicine should only be given a licence if the benefits of its use in patients are shown to justify or outweigh these risks.
Understanding Your Meds
At some time in our lives, we all have to go see a doctor, either for ourselves or a member of our family. Many times, the doctor will write a prescription, which may only be filled at a pharmacy. Today there are more and more prescriptions being written and filled. Many times these prescriptions are difficult to read. The pharmacist works hard to make sure you get the right medicine prescribed by your doctor. To get the fullest benefit from your prescription, avoid problems, and reduce possible side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist the following questions:
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When you pick up your medicine at the pharmacy, check the label carefully to be sure it is the medicine you were prescribed by your doctor. And ask your pharmacist any questions you might have about the prescription.
When your doctor prescribes a medication for you for the first time, make sure to tell him or her the following: