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A side effect is an unwanted symptom caused by medical treatment. All medicines can cause side effects, including prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines. Complementary medicines include herbal preparationsvitaminsand some products dispensed by naturopaths and other practitioners of complementary medicine. AroundAustralians are admitted to hospital every year because of problems with their medicines, including side effects. While most side effects can be managed, some can be Side effects of the medication serious and may even cause death.
It is in your best interests to manage your medicines Side effects of the medication. See your doctor or pharmacist for further information and advice. All medicines can cause unwanted side effects. Skin rashes are a common reaction. But, it is not always easy to tell if the reaction is caused by the medicine or the illness. Interactions between other medicines the person may be taking is a further complication. Interactions can happen between prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines.
Many people believe that they are safer because they come from natural sources. Some herbal remedies act on the body as powerfully as any conventional medicine, and unwanted side effects can occur. Some examples of complementary medicines that can cause side effects include:.
About one in 5 Australians take both complementary and prescription medicines. Active ingredients in Side effects of the medication medicines can interact, increasing the risk of side effects. Some medicines have similar active ingredients, that may act in the same way. Other complementary medicines may make the prescription medicine more or less effective.
Drinking alcohol with some medicines can also cause unwanted and sometimes dangerous side effects. For example:. Remember that alcohol can stay in your system for several hours after your last drink, so it is important to be aware that interactions can occur long after you stop drinking. Talk to your doctor or other health professional for advice about your medication and drinking alcohol. This has been produced in consultation with and approved by:. Anthrax is a rare but potentially fatal bacterial disease that occasionally infects humans.
The Western obsession with cleanliness may be partly responsible for the increase in allergic asthma and conditions such as rhinitis. Careful prescribing of antibiotics will minimise the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body's cells, and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. Antipsychotic medications work by altering brain chemistry to help reduce psychotic symptoms like hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking. Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional.
The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances.
The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website. Home Medications. Medicines and side effects.
Actions for this Listen Print. Summary Read the full fact sheet. On this. What is a side effect? Prescription medicines can cause side effects Complementary medicines also cause side effects Complementary medicines can interact with prescription medicines Alcohol used with medicines can cause side effects What to do if you experience side effects How to reduce the risk of side effects Where to get help.
Prescription medicines can cause side effects All medicines can cause unwanted side effects. Some examples of complementary medicines that can cause side effects include: Echinacea - more than 20 different types of reactions have been reported.
Some include asthma attackshivesswelling, aching muscles and gastrointestinal upsets. Feverfew - pregnant women should not use this herb, as it can trigger uterine contractions. In animal experiments, feverfew triggered spontaneous abortions miscarriages. Complementary medicines can interact with prescription medicines About one in 5 Australians take both complementary and prescription medicines.
Many complementary medicines including feverfew, ginkgo and chamomile may increase the risk of bleeding in people taking anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin and anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin. If taken with other medicines that increase serotonin such as antidepressants it can cause serotonin toxicity. Serotonin toxicity can range from mild to life threatening. Symptoms include tremors, high temperature and low blood pressure. For advice about complementary medicines, speak with your doctor or other health professional.
Alcohol used with medicines can cause side effects Drinking alcohol with some medicines can also cause unwanted and sometimes dangerous side effects. For example: Alcohol can cause drowsiness or dizziness when taken with some antihistamines, antidepressants, sleeping tablets or medicines for anxiety. Alcohol can affect medicines for high blood pressure and travel sickness. When alcohol is mixed with strong prescription medicines like opioid pain medicines, the combination can increase the chances of overdose.
Some antibiotics interact negatively with alcohol and some can cause a severe reaction. Symptoms can include upset stomach, skin flushing, headachea fast or irregular heartbeatdrowsiness or dizziness. What to do if you experience side effects If you experience side effects when taking medication: In an emergency, always call triple zero Note the side effects and consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.
They may need to adjust the dose or type of medicine you use. These phoneline services allow consumers to report or receive advice on side effects. They are not emergency services. How to reduce the risk of side effects To reduce your risk of experiencing side-effects: Take Side effects of the medication medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Learn about your medication. This gives detailed information on the medicine in plain English, including how to use it, side effects and precautions.
Your pharmacist can also give you the CMI for your medicine. Speak to your pharmacist Side effects of the medication you buy over-the-counter or complementary medicines. They can advise you about side effects and interactions with other medicines you are taking. Be aware that medicines you buy in the supermarket can also cause side effects. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines.
Have an annual review of all the medicines you take. This is important for older people as they are more likely to experience side effects.
A review can take place in a pharmacy or at home. Ask your doctor for more information about medication reviews. Other things you can do to reduce your risk of side effects from medicines include: Ask your doctor if improving your lifestyle could reduce your need for medication. Some conditions can be better managed with changes to your diet and regular exercise. Return unwanted and out-of-date medicines to your pharmacy for safe disposal. This is a free service. Talk to your pharmacist about dosage aids that can help you Side effects of the medication your pill taking.
You may be at risk of making mistakes if you take many different medicines at different times. Ask your doctor or pharmacist questions so you understand the benefits and risks of your medicines. Side effects - antibiotics, NHS. Australia's annual overdose report, Penington Institute. Opioids, Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Give feedback about this. Was this helpful? Yes No. View all medications.Side effects of the medication
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