When you visit the doctor because of a health concern, they often give you a prescription to treat the problem or reduce your symptoms. And while in many cases prescription medications are successful in treating illness, they do not work the same for everyone who takes them.

As you begin taking a prescription, you might rely on its intended benefits while not paying much attention to its possible side effects. However, while a substance you add to your body could benefit you, many medications have undesirable side effects as well.

Do you know what the known side effects are for these common prescriptions?

As doctors practice medicine, they might adapt to prescribing common medications. And in some cases, they may not get feedback about the effect those drugs have on their patients.

Although you would like to trust your doctor’s recommendations, it is important to remember that medication can alter your body in a variety of ways.

The most common prescription medications throughout the United States have known side effects, which include:

  • Azithromycin. Doctors prescribe this generic antibiotic for Zithromax, or a Z-PAK, to treat infections, pneumonia and sexually-transmitted diseases. While the drug’s common side effects include vomiting and loose stools, more severe complications could consist of an abnormal heartbeat or allergic reaction.
  • Vicodin. This combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen is commonly used to treat extreme pain. This medication may make you feel lightheaded or dizzy, plus it is highly addictive and can result in breathing difficulties.
  • Lipitor. If you have high cholesterol, your doctor might prescribe Lipitor (or atorvastatin). While physicians also use this medicine to prevent strokes and heart attacks, it could cause muscle pain, and over time, it may break down your muscles.

If following doctor’s orders relieves your symptoms or improves your quality of life, they likely found a prescription that works well with your body. However, if your doctor insists on the continued use of a prescription which causes you more harm than good, you might be wise to explore your options.