Medication Side Effects-What You Need to Know
A substance that has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body, in particular a medicine with intended results (like for asthma treatment), may cause a number of unwanted side effects. These effects can occur when you start a new asthma medication, decrease or increase the dose of a asthma medication, or when you stop using a asthma medication.
A side effect that happens in 1% or more of people taking a specific medication is considered by medical researchers to be caused by that particular medication. Examples of common medicine side effects include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, headache, itching, and muscle aches and pains.
Some side effects may be severe and require medical attention, while others may be mild and of little concern. Severe or annoying side effects are one of the main reasons why people stop taking their medications. If you are having worrisome side effects, your doctor may want to change your dose, try a different medication in the same medicine class, or recommend some type of dietary or lifestyle change.
Side Effects – All Medications or Some
Generally,all medications used for the treatment of any type of health condition including asthma can cause side effects. However, some people who take a medicine or a combination of medicines have no side effects.
The most reason of having side effects from your medications may be related to *your age, weight, sex, and overall health. Additionally and statistically shows, ethnicity and race or the severity of your disease may increase the possibility of side effects. These factors may determine if you experience side effects from your medications, the severity of your side effects, and their period.
Time To See Your Doctor About a Side Effect
It is essential for you to be familiar with the potential side effects of your medications and what you should do if you have signs of side effects. Also, it is very important that you let your doctor know if you are having side effects. Although many side effects are minor and not harmful, they can be a sign of danger or an indication that your asthma medication is not working properly for you.
See your doctor if you notice any of these side effects – symptoms or sign:-
- Abdominal pain
- Blurred vision
- Loss of appetite
- Memory loss
- Palpitations (a noticeably rapid, strong, or irregular heartbeat )
- Problems with coordination
- Ringing in the ears
- Skin rashes
- Swelling of hands or feet
- Syncope (loss of consciousness or fainting)
If You Noticed Side Effects – Do You Need To Stop Taking Your Medications?
Do not stop taking your asthma medications without talking to your doctor first. If you think you are having a serious side effect that is of immediate danger to your health, see your doctor immediately.
Every medicines have benefits and risks. The risk is the chance of a serious side effect from your medication. These risks can be less serious, or they are potentially life-threatening, such as liver damage. With guidance from your medical healthcare provider, you will need to balance the risks and benefits of any treatment.
Questions You Need To Ask Your Doctor Or Pharmacist About Your Asthma Medication Side Effects:-
- What are the possible side effects of this medicine?
- What side effects am I most likely to have?
- How soon will the side effects start?
- How long will the side effects last?
- Will the side effects go away by themselves?
- Can I do anything to prevent the side effects?
- Do I need to have any tests to monitor for side effects?
- Are there any dangerous side effects I should know about?
- What should I do if I have a side effect?
- If I have a side effect, are there other medicines I can take?
Points to remember
- Have your doctor read the instructions to you.
- Write the instructions down in your handwriting on a piece of paper.
- Have pharmacist also read the instructions to you.
- If you are still unsure or forget, ask you doctor or pharmacist to review it again with you.
- Read auxiliary stickers added to prescription bottles which warn of special instructions or side effects. Statistically, only 10% of people in a study conducted in a research could read those stickers,so DO NOT fall into that category in your asthma treatment.
Getting Information About Your Medicines Side Effects:-
At your pharmacy: -When you have a prescription filled, your pharmacist should give you a printout that provides you with information about your medicine/s, including possible side effects. If your asthma medication has specific warnings about potentially dangerous side effects, your pharmacist must give you a medication guide required by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to assure that you are aware of any known serious side effects.
If you are not given any medicine fact sheet or a medication guide, ask your pharmacist. And, if you have any questions about your medications, ask the expert, your pharmacist (a person who is professionally qualified to prepare and dispense medicinal drugs) ,but if your doctor and pharmacist both have your drug allergies on file, they would then be aware of potential problems.
Interestingly again*, while you may have experienced side effects to a particular medicine, another person taking the same medicine may not have any side effects. Why the difference? There are several factors like age, general health, gender, severity of disease, and drug allergies to name a few.
Cautionary words: Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before you take any prescription medications or over-the counter drugs, including any supplements. If you have any serious side effects or are concerned about adverse drug reactions, notify your doctor as soon as possible. And, if you discover that you have the wrong medication, do not take it and contact your pharmacist or doctor immediately.
Importantly, to learn and know more about the medicines , side effects or safety concerns for your asthma medications, always read either the medicine label or the medicines’s package insert. DO NOT disregard it, read it.
In our following article we shall discuss about what QUESTIONS you need to ask your doctor about your ASTHMA.