Drug Side Effects
Drug side effects are unintended, adverse effects that can develop with medication use. Drug side effects can be mild or serious and it's important for you to know the difference and be able to recognize if medical attention is required.
Reasons for Drug Side Effects
There are various reasons for drug side effects:
- Reaction to a specific medication.
- Interaction with other medications.
- Incorrect dosage (too much or too little).
Variability of Drug Side Effects
Interestingly, while you may have experienced side effects to a particular drug, another person taking the same drug may not have any side effects. Why the difference? There are several factors -- age, general health, gender, severity of disease, and drug allergies to name a few.
It's imperative for your doctor to be aware of all of your known drug allergies. For example, people who have known sulfa allergies should not be prescribed Celebrex, since it is a sulfa-based drug. There are numerous examples like this -- but if your doctor and pharmacist both have your drug allergies on file, they would then be aware of potential problems.
What You Should Do
First and foremost, review every new prescription with the prescribing doctor. Have your doctor explain what they prescribed, why they chose the dosage, how long before you should see benefit, what are possible side effects, and which side effects require medical attention.
Review the prescription with the pharmacist when you get it filled. You will receive a package insert or printout of medication information about each drug -- read it. Don't disregard it, read it.
If you still want more information on a particular drug, you can look it up on our Drugs A-Z site.