First Do No Harm by Valerie Cheers Brown

“Side effects can cause bad effects to our bodies for life.” These two words are often confused and one is a verb and one is a noun.”

  • Affect is a verb. It means to produce a change in or influence something. (when medication changes your mood, gives you suicidal thoughts, etc.)
  • Effect is a noun that can also be used as a verb. It means a change that occurred. When an “s” is added, “effects” means personal belongings. (I think when a medication has caused a new problem, it becomes a very personal belonging along with the original illness you were taking medication for in the first place).

“When it comes to medications these two words almost go together hand in hand when it comes to reactions and what will cause to happen and an ‘affect’ is to have an influence on and ‘effect’ is something brought on by a cause or a change which has occurred.”

“Now tell me if I am wrong, but when anything which we put into our bodies is supposed to work to help us it is known to have an influence on our illness or disease, and when it does not work well in our bodies and we have problems from the medication, we have side-effect which is something brought on by a cause.”

“I may be wrong but this sounds logical to me and to go even further the word ‘affect’ when used as a verb can mean to ‘attack  or infect, as a disease.”

“When we have side-effects could this not be an attack of our body and cause strokes, such as when taking, i.e.. NSAIDS?”

According to the “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strengthening an existing label warning that non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Based on our comprehensive review of new safety information, we are requiring updates to the drug labels of all prescription NSAIDs. As is the case with current prescription NSAID labels, the Drug Facts labels of over-the-counter (OTC) non-aspirin NSAIDs already contain information on heart attack and stroke risk. We will also request updates to the OTC non-aspirin NSAID Drug Facts labels.”

“Patients taking NSAIDs should seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, weakness in one part or side of their body, or slurred speech.”

“When making a decision about whether to take drugs it is important for you to know the facts about the drug you choose, and understand the risks related to taking that drug. Feeling confused about whether or not taking drugs is the right choice for you is not unusual.”

“Remember I am not a doctor, physician nor pharmacist, but I do have common sense and highly recommend that anyone taking prescribed medications to have in your possession the Nursing2016 Drug Handbook, it’s easier than ever to stay current on the more than 4,500 latest changes to drug information and to avoid even the most common medication errors.”

“Mosby’s is another good drug handbook to have on hand.”

“This book should be your bible when and if taking more than one medication.”

Mosby's 2016 Nursing Drug Reference, 29th EditionNursing2016 Drug Handbook

According to Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, “Drugs can appear initially to have positive effects – lifting your mood, relaxing you or even giving you more energy. However, they can also have negative impacts on your mental and physical health, your relationships, and your life in general.”

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, “The word ‘Affect’ means: the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes; also :  a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion <patients … showed perfectly normal reactions and affects “

According to Merriam Webster dictionary “The word ‘Effect” means: : a change that results when something is done or happens : an event, condition, or state of affairs that is produced by a cause : a particular feeling or mood created by something : an image or a sound that is created in television, radio, or movies to imitate something real.”

Merriam-Webster defines affect as “to produce an effect upon.” Grammar Girl says affect “most commonly means something like ‘to influence’ or ‘to change.’” Merriam-Webster uses the following words to define effect: “intent,” “appearance,” or “accomplishment.” Effect can also be defined as a result of something.

Side effects: Problems that occur when treatment goes beyond the desired effect. Or problems that occur in addition to the desired therapeutic effect.

Example — A hemorrhage from the use of too much anticoagulant (such as heparin) is a side effect caused by treatment going beyond the desired effect.

Example — The common side effects of cancer treatment including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores are instances of side effects that occur in addition to the desired therapeutic effect.

“Drug manufacturers are required to list all known side effects of their products. When side effects of necessary medication are severe, sometimes a second medication, lifestyle change, dietary change, or other measure may help to minimize them.”

Side Effects: Older Bodies Handle Drugs Differently

“While everyone needs to be careful when taking a medicine, older adults frequently take more than one medication at a time. Medicines can interact with each other in unexpected ways, so anyone taking several medications at the same time should be extra careful. Also, as the body ages, its ability to absorb foods and drugs changes.”

“As people age, the body’s ability to break down substances can decrease. Because older people may not be able to metabolize drugs as well as they once did, they might need smaller doses of medicine per pound of body weight than young or middle-aged adults do.”

How can two different drugs influence each other’s effect?

“Medicines can sometimes influence each other inside the body, producing an increased effect, extra side effects, or decreased effectiveness of one or more drugs. This is called a drug interaction.”

“Again, am not a doctor, physician nor pharmacist, but do highly recommend that people realize that those plastic pill container  which are being sold…. are not to put all of your medications into and to be taken at AM, PM, NIGHTTIME all together.”

“Instead prescribed medications should be taken or given by somebody who keeps track of medications being taken and should be taken directly from the prescribed medication bottle and taken per physician’s directions on the prescribed medication bottle.”

“Think about it…..if you take 5 different medications each pill bottle will have different prescription directions and how will you be able to take accordingly when all thrown into a plastic pill container?”

“Do you realize that these medications react totally differently when all taken together and can be dangerous and harmful to our health and bodies.”

NOTE: “Drug interactions can occur when people take two or more different medicines at the same time.”

Increased Use of Black-box Warnings

“Although black-box warnings have been used for decades, in the last 10 years, there has been an explosion in the number issued.”

“Here’s how many black-box warnings are created: Before a drug is made available to the public, limited clinical trials are performed. After the release and widespread patient use, however, the FDA typically has more of an understanding of the drug and its potential adverse effects and may decide to add black-box warnings.”

“Between 2005 and 2008, about 14 percent of safety-labeling changes have been related to black-box warning additions or revisions, according to an editorial in Hospital Pharmacy.”

“Still, black-box warnings are not just for relatively new drugs. For example, Darvon/Darvocet, a widely used pain reliever for more than 50 years, was issued a black-box warning in July 2009 when it was linked to fatal overdoses. Yet it wasn’t until November 2010 that it was taken off the market because it was found to dangerously alter the electrical activity of the heart.”

“For more information on “Black-Box Warnings” :

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