Worried About the Risks of Your Medicine? in Body

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Though you may not always read medicine guidelines back-to-back, it's important to know what you're taking and how it might affect you.

1. Speak to your doctor


If you're feeling uneasy, it's best to speak to your doctor about what has been prescribed and any worries you may have about the risks or side effects.

2. Read the instructions

Make sure you're not at risk or taking anything else that you can't use with your new medication.

3. Know what to look out for

If you've been taking the medicine and you're starting to feel more unwell or have experienced any of the side effects described in the information that came with the medicine, stop taking it immediately and seek emergency help.

4. Step away from Google!

We know searching your symptoms can be very tempting, and it's likely everyone has at one stage diagnosed themselves over the internet (usually incorrectly!) Although you can find accurate medical advice via the NHS, constantly looking things up before speaking to a health professional can scare you about a very unlikely risk.

5. Is there an alternative?

If you're really unsure of the best route to take in getting better and aren't entirely happy with what you've been prescribed, speak to your doctor about other medicines you may be able to take and compare the risk factors to find something best suited to you and your lifestyle.

6. Is it worth it?

Comparing the benefits of the medication with the risk of possible side effects is important. If you don't feel the medication is vital enough to take the risk, again speak to your doctor - you have the right to say no to the medication if you choose. On the other hand you might feel that the help the medication will give you, outweighs the small chance of experiencing side effects.

Remember, the most important thing is to talk to your doctor and to understand the risks and benefits of the medication to you as an individual based on your medical history.

Get more advice on what to expect when seeing a doctor.