It is common knowledge that most medicine cause side effects to some extent. Even herbal supplements or aspirin can make people experience some adverse reactions. As long as you read medicine’s instructions and warnings, discuss matters with your doctor, and take the pills as recommended, you should be alright and on your way towards healing. However, what can you or should you do if the drugs lead to severe reactions?
Make the Difference between Side Effects and Drug Injuries
What people fail to realize is that, from both a medical and a legal point of view, drugs’ side effects and drug injuries are two different things. Some of the most common side effects of prescription or O.T.C. drugs include gastrointestinal symptoms (like nausea or an upset stomach), light headaches, sleepiness, and so on. When doctors prescribe you medicine for a particular condition, they inform you about the possible reactions you might experience during the treatment.
As you can easily understand, not all people manifest the same side effects at the same intensities. It all depends on age, gender, other conditions you might have, interactions with other medication, body mass index, and so on. Side effects range from mild to severe to even strange.
Tackling Medicine’s Side Effects
If you have doubts about a drug’s adverse reactions, you should read the printed materials you get in the package. For diet pills, herbal supplements, and other O.T.C. medication, you should also read the labels, discuss matters with the pharmacist, and even ask your physician a few questions.
People who want to learn more about specific drugs’ side effects or report less common side effects can access the F.D.A. medical database for product safety.
Understanding Drug Injuries
The difference between side effects and drug injuries lies within the severity, intensity, and length of the adverse reactions. In medical practice, drug injuries represent debilitating and even fatal conditions that generate long-term health consequences. If your allergy medication makes you feel a bit tired, you stop taking it and the side effects disappear. When you suffer a drug injury, liver damage, organ failure, or cancer do not just go away.
In legal practice, according to Pintas & Mullins injury lawyers, drug injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
Nobody should trade lightly on the fact that many prescription medications and O.T.C. drugs can cause debilitating or life-threatening conditions, such as heart diseases, congenital disabilities, strokes, blood clots, type-2 diabetes, suicidal ideation, cancer, and death.
For this reason, in law practice, drug injuries make a valid cause of action for lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, and even drug sales representatives.
Because of the damaging effects of some drugs, the F.D.A. and manufacturers recall some medicines or even ban them out from production and selling.
What Do You Do When You Experience Adverse Reactions from the Medication You Take?
As we said, not all drugs cause the same side effects in all people taking them. However, if for some reason, you start feeling worse during treatment instead of feeling better, here is what you need to do:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Call the physician that prescribed you the drugs and explain your symptoms. Most of the time, the interruption of the treatment or a change of dosage should alleviate the adverse reactions.
- Call 911 and go to the hospital if the adverse reactions you are experiencing warrant such emergency action. In a hospital environment, you need to be 100% honest. Tell the doctors what medication you take and for what conditions. Tell them about other pills you take, be them vitamins, as drug interactions can cause serious injuries. Be open about the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs, pre-existing conditions, anamnesis, etc.
- In case you cannot give up on the medicines you are taking for a particular condition, keep a detailed diary of the side effects’ manifestation, intensity, and length. Also, save all documents related to your treatment: the prescription from your doctor, medicine’s package and instructions, pharmacy receipts, etc.
- Keep an eye on your current medical records.
- Contact a drug injury lawyer if you feel you have a cause of action. You could have grounds for a lawsuit if the medication you took came with poor design, manufacturer defects, contaminants, insufficient warnings and instructions, and so on.
Currently, the medical community, governmental agencies, and attorneys keep a very close eye on a rather long list of medicines and drugs that cause drug injuries and side effects worthy of a lawsuit. Before you take any treatment – prescription or otherwise – talk to your doctors and pharmacists. Check the F.D.A. database and even consult the legal databases related to some drugs’ potentially harmful effects. Whatever you do, never take a medicine’s side effects for granted.