Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

Scary Side-Effects of 3 Common Medications

Jul 30, 2019 09:13 PM EDT

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Scary Side-Effects of 3 Common Medications
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Sometimes, medication is necessary to maintain good health.  But those medications can come with side-effects that are as unwelcome as our health woes.  Learn about what these side-effects are, and if they are avoidable.

Statin (Cholesterol) Drugs

High cholesterol is no joke.  Untreated, it can lead to heart attacks or strokes, often with no warning symptoms. Medication is often the first line of defense in keeping cholesterol levels in a healthy range.  Statins help your liver filter cholesterol from your bloodstream.  

They also can cause issues of their own, such as mild to severe muscle pain.  Although rare, they can also cause liver damage. What about neurological effects?  Statins can also cause dizziness. 

If the side-effects of statins sound alarming, there might be other things your doctor recommends to control your cholesterol.  Losing excess weight, avoiding smoking, and a low cholesterol diet are all ways to help keep your cholesterol in check.  

If your cholesterol is slightly elevated, your doctor may suggest one of these alternatives before prescribing medication.

Hypertension Medication

If you have hypertension, a.k.a. high blood pressure, you may not know it until complications arise, and the complications can be serious.  Similarly to high cholesterol, high blood pressure can put you at risk for heart attack, stroke, weakened blood vessels, and even dementia.  

There are several drugs used to treat hypertension; commonly used are diuretics or beta-blockers.  Diuretics come with a risk of potassium loss, which can cause a host of issues on its own. Beta-blockers come with risks of respiratory effects, from shortness of breath to chest pain.

It's worth noting that the scary side-effects are both rare and manageable.  Often, lifestyle changes can be made to counteract the side-effects of hypertension medications.  Your doctor can discuss with you the best plan to avoid side-effects becoming an issue.  

SSRIs (Antidepressants)

The stigma surrounding mental illnesses often causes delays in seeking treatment.  The very real side-effects of SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) can also be a concern.  Symptoms of depression can be debilitating. Lack of interest and energy, anxiety, and even physical pain are some of the common indicators.

An understandable fear of depression patients is that the side-effects of their SSRI will be as difficult to manage as their depression symptoms.  The side-effects can be unpredictable and can include things like digestive problems, loss of libido, and insomnia.  

These conditions generally clear up after prolonged use of an SSRI, but they can still be unnerving to experience.  Your prescriber will discuss your concerns, as well as ways to negate these side-effects, before starting you on a new medication.

Final Thoughts

Side-effects don't necessarily equal the lesser of two evils.  They can be handled with the guidance of your physician and are much less dangerous than skipping medication altogether.

In some cases, we're prescribed the wrong medication entirely. If this was to occur, consider getting a medical malpractice lawyer. Langer & Langer notes on their website that "Financial stress should never hinder your ability to recover when you've been injured because of the negligence or deliberate acts of someone else."

By partnering with a medical malpractice lawyer, you are able to better able to file a suit and get what is owed to you, due to someone else's carelessness!

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