Least known facts about medication side effects


Article: By Max Ballard

We all benefit from the progress medicine has made in the past two centuries. Access to prescription medication means we can now prevent and treat illnesses which would previously have been very serious or even fatal. Many prescription drugs can cause side effects, ranging from mild side effects to dangerous conditions and allergic reactions. However, as will described below, some medicines cause certain side effects which are funny, awkward or just strange.

An excellent example of a medication that causes funny, but otherwise harmless side effects is the blood pressure medication Vasotec which can affect your senses. It can cause you to lose your sense of smell and your sense of taste. In addition, it has been found to cause ringing in your ears and blurred vision.

ots-lipsA similar side effect is attributed to the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis. In rare cases, men who take Cialis have reported visual disturbances, too. Because of this, men who have a family history of eye conditions are advised not to take it at all. Moving on to the awkward side of things, Cialis could also cause an erection which could persist for over four hours. Thankfully…this particular side effect is very rare.


Some prescription medications also cause behavioural and psychological side effects. The Parkinson’s disease medication Mirapex for example has been found to cause compulsive behaviour such as alcoholism and gambling in patients who have never previously struggled with any such condition. Mirapex is not the only medication with side effects which affect the psyche. The antimalarial drug Lariam also made the headlines when it was reported to have caused depression, suicidal tendencies and hallucinations in soldiers based abroad. Due to the possibility of psychiatric side effects, Lariam is not suitable for patients with a history of mental illness.


From comic to strange and awkward, the above list of lesser known side effects is non exhaustive. In some cases, the risk of specific side effects can be minimised by taking the medication with food. Medications can only be registered and used if the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency decides that they are safe to use and that the benefits outweigh the risks. Sometimes, however, we just have to accept that a medication will cause mild side effects no matter what we do to prevent it.

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