Lisinopril, statins, various birth control and fertility drugs. The list goes on. Do these sound familiar to you? We take the advice of our doctor who prescribes these and other drugs after our annual check up. We renew the prescription every time and don’t pay much attention to the warnings on the enclosed materials. That’s our doctor’s job, right? How hazardous are the drugs we are taking and is there anything that can be done once we’ve started putting them into our systems?
Over time, the drugs listed above and others could cause problems to the liver, reproductive organs and respiratory systems. Disease can come in the form of a unique leukemia or cancer where it may be hard to prove the source. Class action suits are initiated all the time to protect those who used the drugs and have suffered long-term effects or death as a result of certain side effects.
If you have been prescribed a drug that you haven’t taken before, or if you want to do an inventory on the drugs in your cabinet, here’s a good checklist to follow:
- Read the paperwork provided by your pharmacist and ask questions about side effects.
- Make sure all of your prescriptions are current.
- Toss any drugs that are expired. When discarding them, be sure to safely toss them or find an agency that will collect them for you, as throwing them in the garbage is not acceptable and could cause harm for someone else who might find the drugs.
- Find out about the possibility of weaning yourself from the drug over time, or requesting a lower dose if permissible.
- Review how long you have been taking the drug, and consult your physician about your own personal history with that drug.
If you are taking some of the drugs listed above, here are some of the side effects that you could encounter, ones that could seem normal:
- Dry cough that worsens over time, or becomes more persistent. Dry cough, thought to be just “dry air in the room” is a possible side effect of Lisinopril.
- Stomach pains or sudden problems with urination. Don’t chalk it up to the stomach flu or food disagreeing with you.
- Any severely evident symptoms like sudden blindness, dizzying or inability to feel a part of your body.
If you feel you have been prescribed a drug that has caused negative long-term effects, or has been recalled after you started taking it, you will want to consult your physician as well as an attorney who can help you with seeking compensation for any damages that may have occurred as a result of taking that drug.
We trust our doctors, and we should. They are specialists and, in most cases, treat us with the hope of bettering our health. However, our health ultimately falls in our own hands, and it remains our responsibility to take the stand when things seem off kilter or when we experience side effects that worsen over time. Don’t wait until it’s too late to be educated about your own well-being.