How To Cope-Up With Medical Side Effects?
Prescription medicines relieve us when we are ill, alleviate our suffering when we are afflicted, and avoid or regulate long-term illnesses. But often they have unwanted side effects, even when doing the job they are meant to do.
Don’t let it automatically exclude a drug, particularly if it is an important part of health management. But without a doubt, you shouldn’t acknowledge unpleasant reactions.
Know what to look for
Side effects can occur with almost any drug, says Jim Owen, pharmacist and vice president of the U.S. Pharmacists Association. They are all popular, from birth control pills to cancer control medicines.
Many prescription medicines such as nausea, diarrhea, or constipation induced by the digestive tract, for example, cause stomach issues.
Others – including antidepressants, muscle relaxants, or blood pressure drugs, or diabetes medicines – can cause swelling. Some people may make you feel drowsy, tired, or irritable. Some can cause a gain in weight. Some can interrupt your sleep or your sexual capacity.
“I tell my patients that chronic symptoms are not acceptable,” said Lisa Liu, MD, a Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, in Melrose Park, IL family physician. “I won’t allow them to have ongoing pain or discomfort unless we have tried every alternative.” How to Dispose of Medicines: Used & Unused
Ask about typical side effects when your doctor prescribes a new drug.
“You, your doctor, and your pharmacist should be working together so everyone has the same information,” said Owen. “You should know which side effects are serious, which ones will go away on their own, and which ones can be prevented.”
When you start taking medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any unusual symptoms as soon as possible. This involves improvements to your sexual life, says Liu, of which many patients are ashamed or frightened to speak.
Some side effects go away over time when your body gets comfortable with a new prescription so your doctor may suggest that you stick to your current plan a little longer. In other situations, you can decrease your dosage, try another medication, or add one to your routine such as an anti-nausea drug.
“People often think that just because they have a bad reaction to one drug, they can’t take any other drugs in the same class, but that’s not always the case,” Liu says. “Sometimes side effects are due to very specific ingredients that not every brand uses.”
Change your time of day can also be beneficial if your doctor gives you OK. “If someone is on four blood pressure medications, for example, I tell them not to take them all at once,” Liu says. “For patients whose birth control or antidepressant makes them dizzy, I have them take it right before bed.”
List all your medicinal products
If you speak to your doctor, have a list of all other prescription or non-prescription drugs or supplements that you take. Often two or more medications that react adversely together cause side effects, Owen says, and you do not need both.
Be mindful that a new symptom may potentially be a side effect of the treatment. If you don’t say the whole story to the doctor, you could be diagnosed with a totally different disorder — and prescribe another medication to treat it.
Ask about changes in lifestyle after medication
“There are a lot of factors that go into side effects — not just the medication itself,” says Owen. “You may be able to prevent them by avoiding alcohol or certain foods, or by making other small changes to your diet or lifestyle.”
For example, if you are taking an antidepressant that makes you feel better and also gives you weight, you may need to pay more attention to your diet and practice schedule.
Some medicines, such as cholesterol and slimmers, do not function well if you consume pomegranate or foods rich in vitamin K. Other medicines may make you sun-sensitive, so you wear sunscreen or cover-up from the outside.
Get your doctors’ all right
It’s clever to do your own medicine studies. Read the label and all your drug directions. Speak to someone with similar health problems. And check the Internet for credible sources.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you read or hear about other drugs that might have fewer side effects. Newer drugs do not have as well known side effects as those on the market over the years, so you may be interested in moving to older and more tested medicines.
But never stop a medication or change your dose, particularly if you’re treated for a serious condition without your doctor’s approval. To stop being sick again, you need to take some medications, such as antibiotics. If you miss a dose, break it in half or take it with or without food, some won’t work well.
Choose what is most relevant
Some side effects can be tolerated, particularly if they are temporary or if the advantages outweigh the opposites. However, it might be time for a shift if a bad drug reaction puts you at risk for further medical complications or seriously affects your health.
For instance, drugs that cause dizziness can raise your risk of death or serious injury — particularly if you are an older adult. If alternatives are available, treatments that affect your ability to enjoy time with friends or romantic partners can not be your best choice.
“Sometimes it takes some test, but many times you can find a medicine that works without affecting your quality of life.”