The idea of a medication having side effects is always a concern. Before you pop a pill into your mouth, you are advised to carefully read the information sheet that comes with the packaging and ensure you’re aware of what you’re about to ingest.
This is all well and good – a precautionary measure in fact – but it can lead to a lot of confusion and upset. For one thing, those lists of potential side effects can be so long and terror-inducing that they put people off using a medication at all. Making this worse is the fact that side effects are generally poorly understood.
So maybe it’s time to start putting that right – starting now.
1. Side Effects Don’t Impact Everyone
You will see that most lists of potential effects of a pill come with a probability scale; 1 in 10 users will experience, 1 in 100 etcetera etcetera. While it’s always worth paying attention to this data, the odds are always in your favor. Just because a side effect is listed doesn’t mean that you will suffer from it.
2. Side Effects Come From All Sorts Of Substances
Coffee, for example, could come packaged with the side effect warning it may cause insomnia. You will also find side effect potential from over-the-counter diet supplements, from standard Vitamin B to calcium treatments like AlgaeCal. Anything that we ingest has the potential to cause a side effect, even though you will find no issues from Vitamin B and no AlgaeCal side effects, it’s still mindful to be careful of what you are taking. This is why you should always consult a doctor before taking a supplement; so they can rule out any chances of interactions.
3. Side Effects Don’t Tend To Last
The time you are most liable to suffer from side effects from a substance you’re taking is in the first few weeks. After this time, your body will likely adjust and you will return to feeling normal, with only the intended effects of the substance being the ones you notice. So if you take a substance – prescribed or otherwise – you might have to weather the storm, after which you will see a significant improvement in their impact. If side effects do persist, you should contact your doctor.
4. Side Effects Are Inevitable
Science has yet to create a substance that is designed only to target the bodily system that you are attempting to correct or benefit. Heart disease is a worthwhile example of this. If you have this condition, then the medication that will likely play a part in your treatment – although it will be beneficial – will also bring some side effects. For example, you may suffer muscle cramps and likely some headaches. This isn’t a reason not to take them – though the side effects are difficult to cope with, it’s all in the name of a greater good.
The same is true of milder medications, which in an attempt to correct one thing, will inevitably have a (temporary) impact on other areas.
In conclusion, don’t be afraid of side effects, but don’t dismiss them either. Medication and supplements can be hugely beneficial, even if there are a few issues to weather along the way.