Skip to content

    Dealing With Medicine Side Effects and Interactions

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Side Effects

    All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them.

    Here are some important things to think about:

    • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than minor side effects.
    • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
    • If side effects continue to bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
    • Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you take a medicine and you:
      • Have trouble breathing.
      • Get hives camera.gif.
      • Have swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
      • Faint (lose consciousness) or feel like you may faint.
      These are signs of a severe allergic reaction to the medicine.

    Will you get side effects?

    Anyone can feel side effects from a medicine, but there is no way to know for sure if a medicine will cause side effects for you. It may depend on how much of the medicine you take, how old you are, how much you weigh, whether you are male or female, and what other health problems you may have. Older adults are more likely to have side effects than younger adults.

    You may notice side effects when you start to take a medicine, change the dose, or stop using the medicine. A medicine you've often taken without getting side effects may suddenly cause side effects. Or side effects may stop.

    What can you do to prevent side effects?

    There are many things you can do to prevent and prepare for side effects. Before you take any medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about:

    • The possible side effects of the medicine and those you may be likely to have.
    • How soon they may start.
    • Whether they may go away on their own.
    • Whether you can do anything to prevent them. For example, taking a medicine with food or at a certain time of day may help with this.
    • Whether you need any tests to check for them.
    • What you can do to manage mild side effects.
    • When and who you should call for help with side effects.
    • Whether you can drink alcohol when you are taking the medicine.
    1 | 2

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    No gym workout
    Moves to help control blood sugar.
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.