Why do so many medications include a warning or precaution about side effects,

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  1. DzyMsLizzy profile image94
    DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years ago

    Why do so many medications include a warning or precaution about side effects,

    when the listed side effects are the very things/symptoms you are trying to treat?  (E.g., "dizziness" on a medication to treat vertigo?)  It seems to make no sense.

    It also makes no sense to list as a side-effect or "warning" the very thing you seek, e.g., "may cause drowsiness" on a sleep aid.  Well, I would hope so--that's the whole idea!

  2. susi10 profile image96
    susi10posted 6 years ago

    Hi DzyMsLizzy,
    I know exactly what you mean! I've seen that before, many times. I suppose that that the medication may cause some side effects before it treats the illness. For example, if you have vertigo and take medicine for it, you may feel dizzy (that would be side effect). After that though, the illness will heal again.
    Hope that answers your question!

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image94
      DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, but how would you then know if it WAS a side effect,  instead of the case being that the medication simply was not working???

    2. susi10 profile image96
      susi10posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Hi again,
      Yes, you are right. Good point! I am assuming that the side effects that you get are very minor and wouldn't be as strong as your real illness.

  3. billybuc profile image86
    billybucposted 6 years ago

    Have you noticed how often the side effects are worse than what's ailing you?  LOL  Why bother with the medication?

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image94
      DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I know, huh, billybuc--it's downright scary!

  4. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 6 years ago

    Anytime we put things that are unnatural in our bodies, side effects can pop up.  But I really think all the warnings are because of the drug companies liability. They are attempting to protect themselves from lawsuits.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image94
      DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      And that is the main problem with our society--lawyers!  It's all about the CYA business, over and above what is REALLY best for people!
      You know why sharks don't attack lawyers, right?
      Professional courtesy!

    2. duffsmom profile image60
      duffsmomposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, lawyers and the media - the perfect storm.

  5. Theophanes profile image94
    Theophanesposted 6 years ago

    I know it seems an absolute oxymoron but these warnings date back to the first human trials of the drug. Afflicted people will be given the drug but so too will a "control group" that does not have the condition. If their pill for vertigo causes dizziness and they report it, it gets slapped on the label as a possible side effect.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image94
      DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I recall (related to billybuc's answer) a sign in my chiropractor's office, "If we give healthy people drugs, it makes them sick, so why do we give sick people drugs?"

    2. Theophanes profile image94
      Theophanesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Oh I agree... Big Pharma has a lot of seedy things going on, this is just but one of them. I try to live healthy so I wont need drugs rather than he other way round!

  6. cloverleaffarm profile image76
    cloverleaffarmposted 6 years ago

    Hence why I became an herbalist, and treat people using herbs. Did you know that 75% or more of all medications come from plants? They chemicalize and pull them apart in a lab so that they can trademark and patent them. You are not allowed to trademark an herb. When you take just part of the plant, you miss the true healing powers of the plant. While there are side effects of some herbs, this is mostly due to allergies of the plant. Side effects are little to none.

  7. Lor's Stories profile image60
    Lor's Storiesposted 6 years ago

    We are all different as far as how we metabolize a drug.
    Most people do well with percocette. I break out in hives.
    I think our system selects what type of chemical it can handle thus drug warnings.

  8. artist101 profile image64
    artist101posted 6 years ago


    Yes definitely an oxymoron. The reason, they cannot patent food, or natural supplements. There are very useful drugs out there, some very useful, others very toxic. As far as the side effects go, it was noted in clinical trials of the subjects who took it, or for those after patenting. So therefore there is always the risk of side effects, and the observance of that possibility. Medwatch is an online website administered through the FDA to report side effects from drugs, if you experience any with a particular drug. Case in point Cipro, levaquin, and the other antibiotics in that family, have been black boxed labeled due to so many people experiencing tendon rupture, as well as all the deaths from steroid injectables. So to list the side effects of a drug is a good thing, so if you experience said side effects, you will know the cause. The first oath in medicine? DO NO HARM!!

  9. profile image0
    Larry Wallposted 6 years ago

    The side affects are listed, by law, so that if you do developed one of them, you can seek treatment. If you know medicine X had a particular side effect you were experiencing, the doctor could run tests or observe the condition to determine if it was the medicine or some other cause. Granted, it is scary to read all of the possible side effects. It would be scarier to have an unusual condition and the doctor had no starting point as to what might be causing it. Some people are highly sensitive to drugs and their side affects. They show up quickly, allowing the person to check with the doctor and probably discontinue the medication before real harm is done.

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