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5 Ways to Research Your Drug’s Side Effects

These resources will help you find the answers you need when your doctor hands you a prescription.

Your doctor hands you a prescription. Now what? You’re wondering if your doctor didn’t tell you all there was to know about the side effects of this new drug or you’re worried that there was an important question you forgot to ask. Or you’ve started a new prescription and now you feel dizzy or nauseated. Is this normal?

Like many people, you turn to the Internet (or other sources) for information about drug side effects and find yourself inundated with material. What do you do? Here are 5 ways to research your drug’s side effects — calmly and effectively — without having to earn a medical degree.

1 Talk to your doctor

Visits to primary care physicians have shrunk to about 15 minutes in duration. So to make the most of your time together, write down in advance a few questions to share with your doctor. When discussing treatment options, be sure to tell your physician if you have started a new drug, are taking any herbs or supplements, are pregnant or nursing, or plan to have surgery. Medications like blood thinners can cause excessive bleeding during or after a surgical procedure.

Once you’ve started a new prescription, contact your healthcare provider right away if you think you’re experiencing a medication-related side effect. (This holds true for any existing medications you are taking.) “Since you’ll normally be the first person to notice any unusual symptoms, or that you’re ‘just not feeling right,’ it’s important to know what you should do about a possible side effect from the very start,” says Ray Bullman, executive vice president of the National Council on Patient Information and Education, in Rockville, Maryland.

Next: 2 Ask your pharmacist >>

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DISCLAIMER: MedShadow provides information and resources related to medications, their effects, and potential side effects. However, it is important to note that we are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content on our site is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals dealing with medical conditions or symptoms should seek guidance from a licensed healthcare professional, such as a physician or pharmacist, who can provide personalized medical advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented on MedShadow, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for any particular individual's medical needs. Therefore, we strongly encourage users to consult with qualified healthcare professionals regarding any health-related concerns or decisions. By accessing and using MedShadow, you acknowledge and agree that the information provided on the site is not a substitute for professional medical advice and that you should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns.

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