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Are You Aware of Your Drug’s Side Effects?

David W. Hodges
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Posted on Jun 05, 2013

When people are taking an opioid, depressant, or stimulant for their health conditions, they may not be aware of the medication side-effects. Ask yourself if you are familiar with the possible side-effects of the medications you are taking. If you are aware of the drug side-effects, count yourself among the 49 percent of people who also consider themselves aware of these before they start taking their medications.

According to a new poll, a little less than 50 percent of people polled label themselves “aware” of the side-effects of drugs prior to taking them. This means that a little over half of people polled are unaware of drug side-effects.

The survey by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) revealed that over half of pharmacy patients do not know about the side-effects of the drugs they are taking. In fact, the poll found that only two in five patients indicated that they read the drug packet and the patient information leaflet that is included with their prescriptions.

When patients aren’t aware of medication side-effects, they can become seriously ill and suffer the results of possibly taking the wrong dose, taking medication at the wrong time, taking medicine that interacts with other medicines, or totally misunderstanding their medications.

It is important for all patients to read their prescription labels in their entirety. The accompanying leaflet offers critical information on drug side-effects, possible interactions with other drugs or foods, and what to do if you start experiencing negative effects.

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