Health

Medicines and their side effects

Medicines without side effects are almost non-existent. So anyone who uses a drug can suffer from a side effect, but it never happens that one user experiences all side effects.

The side effects are listed in the package insert of a medication. Often it is stated whether these side effects occur often or rarely. Some side effects are discovered during the development of a drug, others only become apparent when the drug is already on the market. The package leaflet will be updated based on reports from doctors, pharmacists and patients. The longer the list of side effects, the more experience has been gained with the medicine. However, this does not mean that a drug with a long list of side effects is worse than a drug with a short list of side effects, but only that more experience has been gained with it. You can also check online pharmacy for assistance.

What are side effects?

A side effect arises because medicines do not only do something where the ailment is located, but also in other places in the body where it is not necessary or not desired. Side effects can be serious, but they are usually harmless. Sometimes you can prevent yourself from getting side effects. Your pharmacist will be happy to advise.

When you are first prescribed a (new) medicine

If you are prescribed a medication for the first time, the pharmacy will discuss the most common side effects with you. Usually these side effects disappear within two weeks. If not, or if the side effects are not acceptable, you are advised to contact your doctor.

Risk groups

Some people are more likely to have side effects than others. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and breast-fed infants are most at risk.

Children

The children’s dosage of many drugs depends on the age of the child. Some drugs may only be given from a certain age. In fact, others are not at all suitable for children, because the side effects are harmful.

Elderly

With age, the risk of side effects increases. This may be because the liver or kidneys work less well. Then some medicines stay in the body for too long, so that they work stronger or longer.

Pregnant women and breast-fed infants

Some medications can seriously harm an unborn child. They can also pass into breast milk and thus into the infant. Your pharmacist and doctor can tell you which medications are safe to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are on medication and want to become pregnant, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if you can continue taking your medication without objection.

Common side effects

Upset stomach: After ingestion, a drug enters the stomach and intestines. There, the active substance can irritate the stomach or intestinal wall. Then you will feel nauseated or have stomach pain or diarrhea. Sometimes the body gets used to the foreign substance and the complaints pass by themselves.

To prevent an upset stomach, it is usually good to take the medicine with or just after a meal. However, this is not possible with all medicines. Advice on this is given in the package leaflet and on the label. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if the symptoms persist or worsen.

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