As a patient, we often place all of our trust into our physician, and rightfully so.  After all, they are the educated professional dedicated to taking care of you, especially when you are seriously ill or injured.

That said, as someone who is experiencing a severe illness that requires large doses of any kind of medicine, it is important that you take your health into your own hands and fully research your options before consenting to any kind of treatment. 

While this can be difficult, as those with diseases such as cancer often face very little choice when it comes treatment options, the truth is, there are usually alternatives.

If you or someone you know are in the midst of making a major life decision when it comes to long-term medicinal care, keep reading to find out how you can better protect yourself from adverse side effects so that you maintain both the quantity and quality of your life.

What is a Side Effect?

Side effects are unwanted reactions a patient experiences while taking medicine.

Some common side effects seen in a variety of drugs include drowsiness, nausea, increased blood clotting, suicidal thoughts, and constipation.  Side effects range from mild to severe and depend on a number of factors, including your current health condition.

Side Effects and the FDA

In order for a drug to be available on the market in the United States, the FDA must agree that the benefits of the drug outweigh any possible risks, including any side effects that may occur. 

Unfortunately, sometimes not all side effects are known until a drug comes to the marketplace and is in use by patients. 

And even then, as is the case with the manufacturers of Taxotere, a popular breast cancer treatment drug, even when a serious adverse reaction becomes known, failure to alert the public properly sometimes happens and lawsuits follow. 

In fact, Taxotere permanent hair loss lawsuits are underway right now because patients using the drug were not made aware that using Taxotere could result in permanent alopecia.

What You Can Do About Side Effects

Sometimes when facing a serious illness you feel overwhelmed by the number of treatment options available.  And, in an effort to get better, you blindly trust whatever is being given to you at any time.

However, there are things you can do to take back control of your health in an effort to ensure your health is preserved long-term while you are receiving short-term medicinal treatments:

  • Talk to your doctor about any known side effects and how to reduce your risks
  • Always get a second opinion, especially if you are seriously ill
  • Research all medicines you will be taken on your own to learn about side effects that your physician may not be aware people are experiencing
  • Find out if there are any lawsuits underway concerning serious side effects
  • Talk to your pharmacist, or other health professionals before receiving treatment

In the end, if you require serious medication to help you brave a serious illness, it is not only up to your doctor to make sure you are safe.  It is your life and your responsibility as well, and taking some simple steps to educate yourself can make all the difference in the world.

Published by Arina Smith