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How are reported medication side effects handled?

When you get a prescription in Washington, you probably get an informational pamphlet or printout with it that explains the possible side effects, along with the proper use of the medication. The information on the side effects is something drafted by the medicine's manufacturer and other agencies that monitor medications to ensure users know about the risks. Even though a lot of time and effort goes into identifying what adverse things could happen when you take a medication, there are still chances you may have a reaction that has not yet been seen.

If you have an adverse reaction to medication, Safe Medication recommends you should stop taking it and immediately contact your doctor. In some cases, reactions may be minor, but there is a chance for a severe reaction that requires further medical treatment. It is essential either way to contact your doctor. This allows him or her to keep records and document the reactions to the medication, which in turn helps to ensure medications stay safe for everyone.

The Food and Drug Administration works at the federal level to ensure medications on the market are not inherently dangerous. If too many people report bad reactions, a medication could even be taken off the market. At the very least, if a certain side effect is reported often, it will be included in the information that comes with the medication when it is prescribed in the future. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. 

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