Handling Prescription Medication Side Effects

All medication has risks and side effects, know how to handle them best.

All medications have risks and benefits. Weigh both sides of the equation with your doctor, and be prepared by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do I feel normal, or does something feel really out of whack?
  • Do I feel unusually depressed, anxious, or uncertain?
  • Do I have blood in my stool or urine?
  • Am I very drowsy, dizzy, or confused?
  • Am I troubled by being unable to sleep, eat, or take part in activities that I normally enjoy?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you and your doctor may decide to:

  • Lower the dose.
  • Change the way you take the medication (e.g., combine it with meals).
  • Switch to another medication.
  • Try a drug-free period (sometimes called a drug holiday) to see if side effects are medication-related.
  • Discontinue medication completely (perhaps making lifestyle changes or using natural remedies).

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest