10 June 2023


Living loving learning

The dangers of side effects presented as main effects

5 min read
We must educate ourselves on the main and side effecs of the prescribed drugs we take.

In the medical world. the proper use of words is important because a simple mistake could cause complications that are usually unwanted by both the doctor and the patient.  Medical jargon is too technical and complicated and difficult for the general public to understand so putting them in layman’s terms is helpful.

Side effect and main effect

Take for example the phrases “side effect” and “main effect”.  These terms are often interchanged in use.  Doing so is not just wrong it is also dangerous!

What is the main effect?

The main effect is the actual result expected by the physician when a prescribed drug is taken.  For example, you take paracetamol and your headache goes away.  And since paracetamol was designed as a pain reliever and fever reducer, then, mission accomplished!

Side effects of paracetamol appear usually when a patient overdoses on it.  Symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes. (taken from https://www.drugs.com/paracetamol.html)

What is a side effect?

A side effect of any substance pertains to the result beyond the main or primary action that is intended by the physician giving drug prescription. The doctor, likewise, foresees this extra consequence.


For instance, the patient might not be conscious of the side effect of unwanted hair growth elsewhere on the body while using vasodilator drug called Minoxidil to treat hypertension.

The physician, nevertheless, is very well aware about it, as well as other implications, such as burning or irritation of the eye, itching, and redness or irritation at the treated area. By and large, doctors suggest that patients should ignore the side effects unless serious and often alert the sick persons about their likelihood.

Beneficial side effect

But not all side effects are bad, which is why some drugs which were initially developed for one illness have been repackaged and sold to address something else.  Let’s take Minoxidil, for example.  It was initially developed to treat high blood pressure but one side effect was hair growth in various parts of the body.

Hair growth products have since been developed containing 2% Minoxidil in a topical solution (since 1988 for men and 1992 for women) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where the known side effects of the drug is controlled.

Adverse side effect

An adverse effect is a downside — it is an outcome wherein the reaction occurs over and beyond the main and wanted action of a medicine.  It happens when a prescribed drug is incorrectly used or the dosage is wrong.  In many cases, when the adverse effect is too serious, patients need to be hospitalized.

Sildenafil Citrate
Sildenafil Citrate

Let’s take the case of Sildenafil Citrate (first introduced into the market as Viagra) — a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Its most common adverse reactions (≥ 2%) include a headache, flushing, dyspepsia, abnormal vision, nasal congestion, back pain, myalgia, nausea, dizziness, and rash.

Patients should seek emergency treatment if an erection lasts over four hours. Patients should stop Sildenafil Citrate and seek medical care if a sudden decrease or loss of hearing and also that of vision in one or both eyes.

Since side effects paired with adverse effects can be fatal and need to be reversed or given antidote immediately, a very extra cautious effort not to interchange them with the main effects in the prescription process must be always observed. After all, it’s the lives of patients at stake here.

It is ironic that people who seek treatments for their ailments or to prolong their lives only become sicker because of improper use of the prescribed drug or confusing main and side effects.  In many cases, the best treatment is still to go natural.

Natural treatment for hair loss

Hair loss is not a permanent condition. It can be addressed the natural way with products like Novuhair, that provides safe and natural effects.

novuhair-ingredientsWith 19 natural ingredients—mostly standardized herbal extracts, essential oils and co-factor nutrients—it does not only help prevent the hair loss malady but also aid in stimulating the growth of the “crowning glory.” Set aside those chemical-based topical scalp solutions out there. Choose natural, choose NOVUHAIR!

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