Even the most active and effective medicines can have side effects and various risks to each user. This is why comparing the possible risks of taking a medicine to the benefits you can get is really essential before taking any medications. Some people take different types of medicines every day and medications are already a basic component of their life. Some medicines can provide immediate relief to various symptoms while some target longer healing effect.
Benefits of medicines basically include its helpful effects like immediate relief from pain and symptoms, lowering risky conditions like high blood pressure, and treatment of infections and inflammation. Risks of medicines include the possible chances of unexpected effects of taking the medicine which are mainly known as the side effects. These side effects can be mild or serious depending on various factors like the specific condition of the patient, medical history, frequency and dosage, duration of medication, and more.
Before deciding to take any strong medicines, make sure to weigh up the benefits against the risks by following these simple guides provided by the Food and Drug Administration.
Weighing Up Benefits VS Risks
When a medicine has more benefits than its known side effects, the FDA usually approves it as safe to use. However, before you take any medicine, you should first have an understanding of the different types of risks you can get from using a medicine.
- One type of risk when taking a medicine is the harmful interaction of some elements or ingredients in the medicine to the food you eat, you drink, or other products you take like supplements and vitamins. Harmful interaction may also occur if you are taking other medications.
- Another risk in taking medicines is the possibility that the medicine can cause other health problems.
- And lastly, there is also a risk that the medicine will not work properly or as expected.
So how do you make the best choice, manage the risks, and get the best benefits out of these medicines?
Ways to Get Maximum Benefits from Medicines
- Make sure to have an updated list of the medicines you are taking, be it a prescription medicine or over-the-counter medicines. You should also make a list of all the dietary supplements you are taking and even those drugs that you only take occasionally.
- With these lists, you can now show to your healthcare provider the things that you are taking.
- You should also inform your healthcare provider if you have sensitivities to a specific thing or allergies.
- If you are having difficulty taking some medicines like difficulty swallowing or always forgetting them, you should also tell your healthcare provider.
- You should also inform your doctor if you are nursing or you are pregnant.
- And most importantly, do not hesitate to voice out and ask question if you are unsure or have concerns with the medications prescribed to you.
Fully Know and Understand the Medicines You Are Taking
Whether you are taking one medication or a lot of them every day, knowing what you are taking into your body is very essential. Know your medicines such as the branded and generic names, proper storage, how long to use each medicine, what they look like, and the risks and side effects. You should also know the conditions or situations where you need to stop taking them, the possible effects of missing a dose, and what to expect when taking these medications.
To get the best benefits from your medications, you should also ask your healthcare provider if there are certain things you can do to minimize the effects of the medication like taking the medicine an hour before or after eating. Observe your body’s reaction to the medicine and always take note if there are uncommon things that you are feeling whenever you are taking the medications so you can inform your doctor, especially if the effects are unexpected.