Can prescribed medicines cause severe poisoning?

Dr. Elif E. Oker, MD
Medical Toxicology

Yes. Prescribed medicines can cause severe poisoning if taken inappropriately. Some examples of prescribed medicines with severe side effects, if taken in excess, include antidepressants, beta blockers and digitalis.

It is also important to know that over-the-counter medication can also have severe side effects. For example, acetaminophen is known to damage the liver when taken in excess amounts. 

The best way to avoid severe poisoning from medication is to take medication as directed by your physician or as directed on the package. A pharmacist is also a good resource when you have questions about medication.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.