6 Side Effects of Medicines

All medicines can cause side effects, particularly if you don’t use them as advised. This includes prescription medicines, medicines you can buy over the counter (OTC), herbal remedies and supplements.

Before taking any medicine, it is advisable to look at the label, on package inserts or printed materials that you get with prescription drugs to find out about possible side effects.

The effects can vary for each patient, depending on their general health, the state of their disease, age, weight, and gender. They can be mild, moderate, or severe.

Types of side effects

1. Constipation

Some medicines may disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in your digestive system. Medications that can cause constipation include narcotics, diuretics, iron supplements, antacids, and drugs for blood pressure, seizures, and depression.

2. Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is common among people undergoing cancer treatment. Chemotherapy drugs can change how your body breaks down food. That disrupts how your small intestine works, which can lead to diarrhoea.

Other medications that most frequently cause diarrhoea are antacids and nutritional supplements that contain magnesium.

3. Drowsiness

Many medicines have a common warning on drowsiness particularly drugs that reach the brain and directly affect the central nervous system. Common medicines that causes drowsiness include antidepressants, allergy medications, strong painkillers etc

4. Dry mouth

A dry mouth can occur when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva. Common medicines that can lead to dry mouth include drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, and colds (antihistamines and decongestants), obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension (diuretics), diarrhea, nausea etc

5. Headache

side effects

Some medications used to treat heart diseases may enlarge (dilate) your blood vessels, an event which can trigger a headache. Other medications known to cause headaches in some individuals include birth control pills, heart drugs, and even pain relief medications.

6. Nausea

Medications that commonly cause nausea as a side effect include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, some medicines for high blood pressure etc

Certain chemotherapy drugs cause nausea and vomiting, especially if given in high doses. Chemotherapy affects parts of the stomach and brain that detect toxic (poisonous) substances. This causes nausea and vomiting as the body tries to rid itself of the toxins.


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