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Handling Prescription Medication Side Effects

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).