Drugs and Their Side Effects
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Drugs and Their Side Effects

We all need medications to help combat with diseases, that we often acquire at different phases of our life. Whether for acute or for chronic diseases, we have those little pills, tablets, capsules and injections which saves our lives. But the dark side is that most of these medicines have side effects, which can affect a person mildly like causing weakness and weight gain, or can even be potentially fatal to make a person go mad, or can even kill him.

We all need medications to help combat with diseases, that we often acquire at different phases of our life. Whether for acute or for chronic diseases, we have those little pills, tablets, capsules and injections which saves our lives. But the dark side is that most of these medicines have side effects, which can affect a person mildly like causing weakness and weight gain,  or can even be potentially fatal to make a person go mad, or can even kill him.

A drug may be beneficial or injurious or both. The effect of a drug varies depending upon the kind, quantity, frequency of usage, the diet take with that drug and how quickly it affects the body-system. Different person have different susceptibility to the same drug, because everyone has a different genetic structure and body mass. For example, while it is seen that many people take corticosteroids for many years and have no noticeable side effect, some people on the same drug (corticosteroid) tend to acquire the noted side effects of cataract, osteoporosis and diabetes.

Although certain drugs can make a person feel enjoyable at first, they can harm the body in the long run. For example, drinking alcohol (ethyl alcohol, or ethanol), smoking tobacco (nicotine), and sniffing glue can all cause permanent damage to the human body. Some drugs severely impair a person's thinking and judging ability. Teenagers under a drugs' influence are vulnerable to dangerous situations, like having unprotected sex or driving a vehicle. Though not a side-effect of drugs, but rather a misuse, we have frequently heard about young girls being drugged in parties and raped.

Some drugs have very bad side effects on any person who takes it. It is the other type of steroid, the Anabolic steroid, usually taken by athletes or bodybuilders. It helps the athletes not only to build muscle, but also to recover faster from training. Anabolic steroid boosts up the body work done by the person, somewhat like a catalyst in chemical reactions. This drug is misused to artificially raise a person's capability and is hence banned. But when we come to the side effects of this drug, things get catastrophic. It causes many adverse effects, depending on the dose. The common ones include baldness (even in females), high blood pressure and hypertension; to the really harmful ones, like change in cholesterol levels (increase LDL, and decrease HDL) alter blood sugar and glucose, increase the risk of heart disease, may permanently stop lengthening of bones, development of breast tissue, decreased libido and testicular atrophy in males. During pregnancy, it can cause to add features of the opposite sex to a fetus, male features to a female fetus and vice-versa. It also causes psychiatric effects, Aggression and hypomania, Depression and tendency of suicide.

Amphetamines are stimulants, which accelerate the body and brain functions. The make a person feel highly energetic. Side effects include high heart rate and blood pressure, breathing trouble, sweating, shaking, headaches, blurred vision and sleeplessness. Prolonged use can lead to hallucinations and intense paranoia.

Many over-the-counter medicines for cough and cold contain dextromethorphan or DXM which, if taken in overdose can cause loss of motor control and hallucinations.

Depressants including barbiturates and tranquilizers are used to calm nerves and relax muscles. Large doses of this medicine may cause confusion, slurred or erractic speech, lack of coordination, and tremors. If depressants are mixed or taken with alcohol, it can be fatal and cause death.

When drugs are taken as a fight for disease, we must know fully about the drug. Never hesitate to question your doctor, but don't ask unnecessary questions. After all, it is your life. Also ask for other alternative drugs with less side-effect, like Sulfasalazine and Mesalazine, which are both given for IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease, like Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis). Mesalazine is a much effective drug than Sulfasalazine, with almost no-side effects. There is a very powerful, inexpensive and readily available method to answer the questions we have regarding the side effects of drugs. It is by using the Internet, with the numerous drug related websites, that lists the effects as well as the side-effects of every drug.

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