Prescription Pills and Their Side Effects

November 12, 2012

Prescription Pills and Their Side Effects

The FDA is the body that regulates amongst other things food and medical products and one of its tasks is to record the side-effects of the prescription drugs we use.

What are prescription pills?

Prescription pills are legal drugs distributed by pharmaceutical companies to licensed health professionals.

What are over-the-counter medicines?

These are also legal medications, but they don’t need to be prescribed by a doctor, so you can purchase them at your chemist or in the supermarket.


Prescription medication includes ant-depressants, diabetic treatments or chronic infection relievers, such as asthma inhalers.

Over-the-counter medication includes headache tablets, cough medicine and cold remedies.

Adverse Reactions

We have all skimmed the adverse reaction blurb if we take a new medication, but we rarely see them as a serious hindrance. However, the FDA has come to the conclusion that each drug has the capability to cause 329 adverse reactions.

What are the causes?

Although a database is maintained of all adverse reactions reported to them by doctors, it is almost impossible to say what the causes of the bad reactions are, due to the fact that many people take a variety of drugs each day, as in the case of a heart patient who would be taking statins, blood thinners and blood pressure tablets, to name but a few. Research has managed to pinpoint some tablets which react badly with others, In fact researchers at Stanford University of Medicine made a breakthrough discovery when they were able to confirm that SSRI’s which are present in anti-depressants react with blood pressure medication and thiazides, which are a diuretic, can cause a heart complaint called prolonged QT which causes irregular heartbeat or sudden death.

The FDA is busy researching the ways that prescription drugs react with each other by carrying out clinical trials and examining those patients who take a drug combination thought to cause adverse reactions and their findings will eventually educate doctors on safe combinations to prescribe to patients, which will in turn save lives.


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