A side effect is a common experience for most patients or medicine users.
It is usually an unpleasant experience that can occur when a medicine is taken. Common examples include: feeling faint and wanting to vomit, diarrhoea (running stomach), headache and Drowsiness (dizziness).
Side effects are usually expected because of the way the medicine functions.
Drug Allergies on the other hand occur when the body’s immune system sees a drug substance as foreign and reacts in a way to get rid of it.
Allergies are less common but more severe and may present as itchy patches on the skin, difficult breathing, swelling of tongue, face and lips.
The Right Approach
At the point of receiving any medicine; patients/caregivers must always ask about the possible side effects of the drug.
Its very important to always inform your doctor or Pharmacist about any side effect experienced.
For side effects; your doctor (or Pharmacist) is in a position to consider the severity and decide if the drug needs to be changed because some side effects later stop.
Never stop using a drug prescribed without consulting your Pharmacist/Physician.
If you experience severe symptoms when using a drug, the best solution is to stop taking the drug and report to the hospital as soon as possible.
Your doctor will consider other alternatives that can help with your health condition while giving other drug to control the allergy.
It’s important for individuals who have experienced any drug allergies in the past to take note of such Drugs
That way you can inform your Physician/Pharmacist during subsequent hospital or pharmacy visits so that such a drug or a closely related one is not given again.