Drug side effects

drugs side effects

What are drugs side effects?


Always check the potential adverse effects on the label of any medications.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) define an adverse effect as "an unexpected medical problem that happens during treatment with a drug or other therapy."
Unwanted effects can result from a physician's advice and from medications or treatments, including complementary and alternative therapies. They can lead to complications.
Reports from clinical trials describe adverse events (AEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs). SAEs include death, birth defects, complications that require hospitalization, or permanent damage


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.
Examples include:
·         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.
These include:
·         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.
drugs side effects
Not all side effects are bad, but adverse effects can occur with some medication.
The other substance may increase or reduce the effect of a drug. Sometimes it may cause a completely different action to occur.
Drug-drug interactions happen when two drugs interact. For example, aspirin and warfarin are both blood thinners. Together, they increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
Drug-food interactions occur when a food alters what the drug should be doing. For example, statins reduce cholesterol levels, but eating high-fat foods will increase them.
Drug-herb interactions can also happen, for example, using antidepressant medication with St. John's Wort can provoke a hyperactive mood in a person with bipolar disorder.
OTC preparations, such as aspirin, can trigger drug interactions. It is important to tell a health care professional which drugs you are already taking, including supplements and OTC drugs, at the time of getting a new medication.
In countries where a wide range of drugs can be bought without prescriptions, the risk of drug-drug interactions is greater.
It is important to note that adverse effects from drugs can vary widely, from mild nausea to death. Different drugs have different effects.
Types of effect:
Some common examples mild adverse effects related to drugs include:
·         Constipation
·         Skin rash or dermatitis
·         Diarrhea
·         Dizziness
·         Drowsiness
·         Dry mouth
·         Headache
·         Insomnia
·         Nausea
Examples of more serious effects include:
·         Suicidal thoughts
·         Abnormal heart rhythms
·         Internal bleeding
·         Cancer
Surgery can cause complications, which are similar to adverse effects.
Depending on the surgery, common complications include:
·         Cardiovascular risks, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism
·         Changes in local blood flow
·         Constipation
·         Erectile dysfunction, for example after the removal of the prostate gland
·         Hemorrhage, or bleeding
·         Infection
·         Inflammation
·         Loss of function


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