The human body is incredibly complicated, so it is fairly common for medications to have side effects. Most of them are minor, since few medications that have serious side effects are approved for use unless they treat a similarly serious disease. They can still have an impact on the patient regardless of the scale of the side effects, so there are a few questions you should ask about them before you take a prescription medication.
Some side effects only occur when one medicine is mixed with another. In other cases, they can react with certain foods or other substances. That means it is vital to ask about any potential interactions between a medicine that you have been prescribed and any other medicines that you are taking. That applies both to other prescription treatments and over-the-counter medicines, since both can cause side effects. In some cases, you may also need to keep an eye on your diet to make sure that there are no unintended reactions. When in doubt, be sure to ask your doctor to be thorough in describing the potential reactions, and never forget to list a medication that you are taking when asked.
How Common Are They?
Not everybody experiences the same side effects from the same treatment. Most of them only happen rarely, and the experiments that tested the medicine to see if it could be used should have revealed the frequency of each of them. You should look up that information if you are concerned by any of the possible side effects of a medication. Manufacturers usually list all of the side effects that they saw during the trials, but many of them will have happened so rarely that the average user will not need to worry about them.
What Are The Risk Factors?
It is possible for personal risk factors to change the odds of side effects. For example, a medication that makes the body absorb a certain substance more easily will only have an impact on people who are exposed to that substance. When this is the case, you may be able to change your lifestyle in order to reduce the odds of experiencing any of the side effects of a medication.
Are Any Beneficial?
It may be strange to think of a beneficial side effect, but there are times when medications are prescribed for a side effect rather than for their primary use. This is relatively common in cases where the medication can have an impact on the patient’s mental state, since it can be hard to develop new medications that specifically target those issues. Side effects that help with physical ailments are rarer, but they do exist, and they can also be a vital tool for doctors.