Use As Directed: How to Reduce Potential Side Effects

Aug 20, 2014
Tagged with: Use As Directed: How to Reduce Potential Side Effects

Today, there really is pretty much a pill to cure most of what can ail you. Advances in pharmacological science have led to a dramatic increase in the number of prescription drugs available on the marketplace. This increase in availability has allowed people with previously unmanageable conditions to see an improved quality of life. Diseases that used to negatively impact one’s life, or perhaps even cut one’s life short, can now be managed or even treated thanks to sophisticated new pharmaceutical drugs.

While there are many “pros” to the increase in the availability of prescription drugs to those who need them, it is certainly not without problems as well. All pharmaceutical drugs come with risks and potential side effects and, at times, these can be worse than what the drug is intended to treat to begin with. Especially with today’s easy access to the online drugstore, it is more important than ever that we have safe practices with our pharmaceuticals.

Take As Directed

Many people simply fill their prescriptions and take them daily. There are vitally important instructions on all prescription medication bottles and there is also important literature that is included with prescription medications. “Use as directed” is not merely a suggestion. By taking the medication as it is intended, one not only increases the therapeutic value of said medication, they will reduce their chance of negative side effects as well.

Sleeplessness, for example, is a common side effect of many prescription medications. It is generally noted in the literature as well as on the bottle that taking this medication in the morning, as opposed to before bed, is a simple way to reduce the possibility of the sleeplessness side effect becoming an issue. Medication should be taken at the prescribed dosage at the correct time of day. If the medication is to be taken with food, it needs to be taken with food. By simply following the instructions on one’s medication exactly, one can dramatically reduce potential problems with their medications.

It may be easier to get one’s prescriptions filled and put them in a weekly pill box, but not all medications should be taken at the same time, or in the same way. Be sure to thoroughly read all literature and dosing instructions on all medications to ensure the best results.

Understand What You Are Taking and Do Not Add to the Problem

Many times, a basic understanding of what we are taking can make it easier to reduce our chances of having unpleasant side effects from prescription medication.

A good example of this is how diet can actually increase or reduce the risk of experiencing side effects in traditional steroid treatment. Water retention can be a common side effect amongst those prescribed strong regimens of steroids. Salt intake in one’s diet will also contribute to water retention in the body. A high level of salt in the diet while one is taking steroids is a potent combination for the water retention side effect.

Reducing one’s salt intake while on steroids is a good way to reduce the likelihood of experiencing problems with water retention. This same logic applies to many other types of drugs. Sedatives are not meant to be taken with other depressant substances. Stimulants and caffeine are a combination to be avoided. By subscribing to what may seem like common sense, one can significantly reduce their likelihood of dealing with common side effects.

While all pharmaceutical drugs have inherent risks and include the possibility of an adverse side effect, there are things that one can do to help avoid these side effects as much as possible. Much research has been done and while many of the best practices for prescription drugs may seem like common sense, abiding by these tips has been shown to reduce the likelihood of experiencing negative or severe side effects from the use of prescription medication.


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Author: David Glenn

  • bobl07

    It is also important to always consult your physician or a pharmacist.