Medications: Side Effects and Medication Interactions

Doctors can’t possibly know all the side effects of all the drugs they prescribe or how all those drugs might interact with each other. And studies report that most doctors still don’t use an electronic drug-checker to check for reactions between your drugs (drug-drug interactions).1

“Physicians do not routinely screen for potential drug interactions, even when medication history information is readily available.”1

You can go to a website made for non-medical people like to see if some new symptom could be caused by your medication. Once at the website, type in your drug, press enter, then scroll down to “Consumer Information.” This category will allow you to read about the drug, including side effects that even your doctor may not know about.

Let your doctor know if you find something important.

You can also plug all of your drugs into the “Drug Interaction Checker” at, and it will alert you if there are any interactions between the medicines. Let your doctor know right away if you find any.

Studies, Footnotes and Resources:

  1. Institute of Medicine. To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Linda T. Kohn, Janet M. Corrigan, and Molla S. Donaldson, eds. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2000, p.39.