Which medicines come with the chance of adverse effects?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Every day millions of us snap off the top of a medicine bottle with the hopes that it will prevent, treat, or cure each of our many ills. Every time we swallow, inject or rub on a medication that prolongs or improves our life, we trust that it will do more good than harm. But all medicines, even the ones that have withstood the test of time, have some degree of risk, especially when taken with other medicines.

Adverse drug reactions are responsible for millions of emergency room visits. A drug's side effects, an accidental overdose, drug abuse and misuse can do irrevocable damage. One area of particular concern is the combining of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, drugs bought off the shelf without a prescription. A study examining the medication use in older adults, an age group that is most likely to be taking medications routinely, found that 1 in 25 are at risk for a major potential drug-drug interactions, sometimes with grave consequences. A majority will be caused by nonprescription therapies.

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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.