So May Drugs...So Many Side Effects
With any illness; we take over the counter and prescription drugs. They both have possible side effects that are not always welcomed by us. However, the drug risks should be weighed by its usefulness from managing a life threatening diagnosis like prostate cancer to minor health problems like headaches.
Everyone reacts differently to medication
We are all different in so many ways. There are certain individual factors that make some of us more likely to develop side effects than others. There are several issues that determine who does or does not suffer from side effects when taking a drug. Your doctor will be able to determine this more.
These differences can include:
- Other drugs
- Dietary supplements
- Level of understanding about a medicine
Side effects are considered dangerous if they end up with the patient being hospitalized, sick, permanently damage, or disabled. It could cause birth defects if the patient is exposed during conception or during pregnancy.
Different types of common side effects
There are a number of side effects for various prostate cancer treatment medications and they vary between each type. Some common side effects men talk about when going through treatment for prostate cancer include:
- Hair loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite changes
- Hot flashes
- Weight changes
- Easy bruising and bleeding
Before taking any drug, it is advisable to take your time to learn about the possible side effects. This will help you be the best prepared to monitor your health for any possible side effects. You can start by talking to your pharmacist or health care provider.
Where can we find reliable information?
There are also other avenues you can use to find information about drugs. Organizations like the FDA are reliable sources to reference when in doubt. Others may include:
- Drug safety communications
- Daily Med
- Index to drug specific information
- Medication guides
- Serious reactions to medication should be reported
- Medline plus: Drugs
When a side effects occurs
In the event that a side effect occurs you can find ways to help reduce these unwelcomed effects. Your health care professional can do the following to help:
- Adjust the dosage
- Switching the drug
- Changing your drug combination
- Dietary change, some medicines can interact with food
- Lifestyle changes - alcohol and smoking can intensify side effects
Most side effects are not life-threatening and might even disappear after a few weeks when your body gets used to the drug. However, some side effects do not go away.
A lot of countries have laws that require pharmaceutical companies to report any possible severe or rare side effects. If you do experience one of these rare or severe side effects, the first thing to do is visit a medical professional immediately.
Always talk to your doctor
There are both short- and long-term effects of drugs. The effects of drugs on the body largely depend on the type of drug in question, how it is used, and the person's unique health considerations.
Learning as much as you can about a drug before taking it will save you a lot of stress and possible expenses. In case of mild or severe side effects, it is important to immediately talk with a health professional for help.
Have you had urinary control since prostate cancer surgery?