Side effects from medications
Any medication can have an adverse effect, whether a prescription drug, an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, an alternative, herbal or complementary therapy, or a vitamin supplement.
For a medication to get approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or a similar body in another country, the drug manufacturer has to list all its known adverse effects.
Adverse effects must be reported, investigated in human clinical trials, and included in the patient information leaflet (PIL). The PIL accompanies drugs and medical devices when they are sold to the public.
The FDA encourage people to report adverse effects to medications.
Adverse effects can result from non-compliance, or non-adherence, which is when the patient does not follow the doctor's instructions.
· not taking a medication that a doctor has prescribed
· discontinuing an exercise to strengthen a limb because the activity resulted in pain
Adverse effects of medications are most likely to happen when a person first uses the drug, when they stop using it, or when the dosage changes.
What causes an adverse effect?
There are different reasons for side effects linked to drugs.
· dosage, which may need adjusting
· an individual reaction to an ingredient in the drug
· a drug killing one type of unwanted cell but also destroying healthy cells
· interactions between drugs
A drug interaction happens when another substance affects the activity of a drug. This could be, for example, another drug, a food, a vitamin or supplement, or an essential oil.