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Side effects

I'm not making this up
Let’s look at few common medications and their side effects

Sholeh Ja
January 19, 2007

Working in health care and pharmaceutical environment for over 2 decades, listening to the commercials about new drugs and medications, I wonder if these new drugs are beneficial or more harmful to human body. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a physician but I have enough common sense to analyze the effects and side effects. Just look at TV commercials and you be the judge. Oh yes, if you think I am making these up, just log into and see for your self.

Let’s look at few common medications and their side effects:

Lipitor: used to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Side effects: gas, constipation, stomach pain and heartburn. Wait a minute, gas and heartburn? Aren’t these similar symptoms for false heart attack? So how do I know if I am having heart attack or just side effect from my Lipitor? And constipation? Oh well then we are forced to take more medication to solve the constipation problem. But wouldn’t that cause more problems with more side effect and possibly drug to drug interference with Lipitor?

Viagra: for the treatment of men who have difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection (impotence).

Side effects: Headache, flushing, stomach upset, nasal stuffiness, diarrhea and dizziness might occur. Ok you can have erection for few hours but you are busy in the bathroom with your diarrhea, for few hours. By the time you are done, the erection is gone away, right? Or what is the point to have an erection when you have a headache? Isn’t headache one of the reasons for not having sex in the first place?

Cialis: to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

Side effects: are headache, upset stomach, back pain, and muscle aches. Ok honey I have an erection and I am ready to go but my back hurts so much I can not even move, all my muscles hurt so maybe not tonight... J

Claritin: is an Antihistamines prevent sneezing, runny nose, itching and watering of the eyes, and other allergic symptoms.

Side effects: difficulty breathing, closing of your throat, swelling of your lips, tongue or face, an irregular heartbeat or seizures. Ok call me crazy but aren’t we taken antihistamine for the same problems that is caused by allergy? Most allergic reactions are difficulty breathing, swell of some sort. And I love the last one: Seizures, oh yes, you have a clear nose to breath but you can’t because you are having a less problem: seizure... which one would you rather have: runny noise or watery eyes or seizure?

Tylenol = Acetaminophen: pain relief medication, use for 3 days for fever and 10 days for pain.

Ok so far so good.

Side effects: liver damage, yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue. Now you’re talking, don’t worry about fever now, and take care of that damaged liver which can cause more problems now. And how about that nausea and abdominal pain... .hay wasn’t I taking Tylenol for 10 days to get ride of my pain in the first place?????

Zantac: is in a class of drugs called histamine receptor antagonists. Zantac works by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces. It is used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines.

Side effects: Dizziness, nausea, constipation, headache, bleeding gums, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, and many more.

Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t nausea part of the acid problem to begin with? And if I am constipated because of this medication, doesn’t that cause back up and plug my system all together, therefore my stomach will create more acid after few days? Or let’s talk about the bleeding: great I have no acid but my gums are bleeding to death, so I should be happy????

Doesn’t a glass of milk, some cooked rice or piece of bread do the trick?

Orlistat: is used as an aid to help you lose weight.

Ok losing weight is not bad, good for the health specially if you are trying.

Side effects: chills; cough; fever; headache; nasal congestion; runny nose; sneezing; sore throat. Ok I can handle some runny nose, sneezing and headache but sore throat? If I have soar throat off course I can not or would not feel like eating, so I will lose weight any way, no?

What else? Let’s see there are more side effects: Tightness in chest; tooth or gum problems; troubled breathing; wheezing. Some one help me out here please, if I have trouble breathing, would I be thinking about food or oxygen? And yes it is not over yet more side effects: Bloody or cloudy urine; change in hearing; contagious diarrhea; difficult or painful urination; earache; frequent urge to urinate; pain in ear... are you kidding me? Contagious diarrhea? How could you NOT lose weight when you have chronic diarrhea?

Call me crazy but I rather to go for a walk or jog 1 hour a day and lose weight...

Rogaine: Rogaine is used to treat male pattern baldness.

Did you know this: Rogaine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. Also listen to this: The exact way that Rogaine works is not known.

Now tell me, why would you use something that even the scientists don’t know how it works?

Side effects: chest pain, difficulty breathing, irregular or over fast heartbeat, dizziness or fainting, flaking of the scalp, rash, redness or itching of scalp.

I don’t mind the itching or the redness with a head of full hair, but dizziness and fainting? Isn’t it that men use Rogain usually trying to impress a woman, so what is the point of having lots of hair but have no time to go on a date because they are either dizzy or fainting??? What go the full hairs do when they passed out in the hospital?

Lunesta: induces sleep and causes relaxation, sedative/hypnotics or sleep medications.

Side effects: you’re going to love this one: may cause confusion, strange behavior, memory loss, agitation, depression and hallucinations.

Hold on a minute: if I have a memory loss with this medication, would I still remember why I took it and I have to go to bed? What if I forget and then go out driving my car? And since this is a sleeping medication, shouldn’t it make me sleepy instead of agitating? And lets not even go there; hallucination!!!! If I can’t sleep the worst thing I would do is either watch TV or go on internet and I might learn something new. Who wants to hallucinate and be awake? Because if it was working then I wouldn’t have any side effect and I would be sound sleep...

Lunesta may be habit forming. Oh dear, now not only I hallucinate and am agitated but I am addicted as well.

Had enough or should we talk about more medications?

Now and days people are caught in the middle. Should they stay with old remedies and have a life span of 40 or should they take these medications and deal with more problems? So the question is: To take or not to take?

Internet and drug websites can give us a lot of information and your doctor is still the best resource, but my advice to you is, no matter who much you think you know about a drug, still look into side effects and talk to the pharmacist who is updated on all new medication and their side effects.

One sisterly advice: don’t take medicine for every little thing. Use drugs for serious conditions.

I did not make up any of these side effects. They are published by the manufacturers.

One thing for sure, I think twice before taking anything. Comment

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