Medication Side Effects – Stop or Push Through?

Side effectsTaking medications these days is a sometimes necessary yet scary proposal. The lists of potential side effects can be over whelming. Now, given, it is only a small percentage of people who will experience side effects at all, but what if you happen to be in that small percent?

You have spent the time, effort and money to go see a doctor in hopes of curing whatever is ailing you and feeling better. They have assessed your situation and made recommendations based on your personalized health profile.

After filling your prescriptions you head home and hope for the best popping the medication into your mouth with some water. Now, you wait. While it’s good to be informed, reading the enclosed pamphlet or print out from your pharmacy can be unnerving. The list of possible side effects is generally not a small list. You push it from your mind and move on with your day.

But what if you begin to notice that you just aren’t feeling quite right? Is it a side effect of the new medication or just an off day? It isn’t easy to know. Should you call your doctor? Wait it out? Keep taking the prescription? Stop all together?

Doing a little research on your particular medication may help put your mind at ease and allow you to make a sensible decision.

What you generally aren’t being told:

If you really don’t know what to expect as far as an experience with a specific drug, you might give up on it right before it begins its intended function.

It is interesting to note that most side effects are temporary. (unless you are experiencing a side effect that is life threatening such as anaphylaxis in which case, seek medical attention immediately).

If you take a new medication and feel something that makes you uncomfortable the natural reaction is to stop taking it. The medical community calls this “non-adherence”. Stopping a medication abruptly can sometimes be detrimental to your health.

The reason many side effects are temporary:

When ingesting a new drug it takes some time to reach what is known as a steady state. Steady state is reaching a balance point where the medication coming in is equal to the amount going out. This is why it is important to take them at the same times daily so that the concentration levels in your blood stream stay on track.

Once your body adjusts and reaches this optimal steady state, many side effects will dissipate to tolerable if not completely gone entirely.

Never hesitate to call and talk to your doctor, pharmacist, nurse practitioner or even many insurance companies have nurse help lines. You should always feel comfortable with what you are taking and if there is a serious side effect, your doctor can change the dose or the medication entirely.

If you are looking for a physician in Lee County, Florida please use our free resource by going to to search by specialty and location.

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