Side Effects and Laws on Medication

Side Effects and Laws on Medication

When it comes to medication, you have the option of buying over the counter medications which do not require a prescription. These are usually pain meds and other drugs whose side effects are not severe and are therefore considered safe for use. Prescription drugs on the other hand require that you provide a prescription from a credible doctor at the point of purchase. These medication is usually either highly addictive or with serious effects and therefore use has to be controlled.

In the United States, Federal drug laws regulate manufacturing, possession and trafficking of drugs including medication. Drugs could also be narcotics which are not necessary used for medical use, but in this article our focus in on medication drugs.

Side Effects

Before medication is approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), it goes through rigorous testing. Some of the approved drugs have adverse side effects. Just because a drug has been approved by the FDA does not mean that a manufacturer can get away with complications that may arise from taking that drug.

A company can be sued for the adverse effects of a drug even if that medication has received FDA approval. Injuries that occur as a result of dangerous medication or when the medication causes more harm than good in a patient, can lead to legal action.

When you file a lawsuit for because of extreme side effects from medication, you should expect to receive compensation from damages and injuries caused as a result of the side effects. This is called a defective product liability suit.

Metformin Side Effects

Metformin is the most popular drug among diabetes 2 patients. Some of the most common side effects associated with the drug include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea,
  • Flatulence
  • Cramping

About one out of five people using the drug will suffer from these side effects. Although these common side effect seem mild, there is a rare and life-threatening illness associated with the medication. It is known as lactic acidosis. This condition causes the body to build up unsafe levels of lactic acid. This can occur when a patient is suffering from kidney, heart or liver failure. So far, there is controversy as to whether metformin medication is the cause of lactic acidosis or whether it only serves to make an already existing condition worse.

Anxiety Medication

Anxiety medication is given to individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders. Although the medication can help people with anxiety manage the disorder and live pretty much normal lives, it can also have undesirable effects which include:

  • Fatigue and stomach issues.
  • Dependence and withdrawal effects.
  • The body can develop tolerance causing the medication to have no effect.
  • The medication can hamper your ability to cope without being medicated.
  • In some cases, anxiety medication can alter personality.

Legally, you are not under any obligation to disclose that you are on anxiety medication to an employer. However, some anxiety medication such as Xanax can hamper your efficiency and safety at work and so it might be prudent to disclose to human resource so that you are assigned duties that will not aggravate the situation. Furthermore, an employer cannot fire you for being under anxiety medication because that is illegal.

Diabetes Side Effects

The most common side effects of diabetes include foot ulcers, vision impairment, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, gum disease, nerve damage and stroke. While there was a time when diabetic patients were not trusted to do some jobs because of the side effects of the illness, today the Americans with Disabilities Act protects diabetics from discrimination in the work place.

Although an organization cannot ask you to reveal any medical conditions such as diabetes during an interview, you might be forced to comply to medical tests if the company policy stipulates so. If you wish to be protected under the Americans with Disability Act, you must acknowledge that you are a diabetic patient. You should not be discriminated or fired for being a diabetic or from dealing with the side effects that come with being a diabetic. The company is obligated to accommodate your needs in what is termed as reasonable accommodation. For instance, if there is a policy that prohibits employees to eat on the desk, you can be granted special permission to do so because diabetes requires that you snack often to keep your blood sugars at normal levels.

Lithium Side Effects

Lithium is used for treating bipolar disorder patients when they are experiencing manic episodes. Side effects of lithium include:

  • Tremors in the hands.
  • Changes in hair and skin.
  • Increased urination or thirst and dry mouth.
  • Feeling cold and having discoloration on toes and fingers.
  • Feeling restless.
  • Low sex drive or impotence.

The side effects of this medication can affect your ability to function normally but you should not be discriminated against for suffering these side effects at work or in any other capacity.


Antidepressants medication is designed to target specific areas of one’s neurological system or physical body. Side effects of taking anti-depressants can range from minor to extremely severe and in some cases, life threatening. The chemical compositions in the drugs react differently in every individual making expected side effects highly unpredictable.

There is a belief that majority of antidepressant manufacturers fail to give appropriate warnings of the side effects this medication can cause. There are also some who believe that manufacturers should be held accountable for harm and injury caused by patients as a result of the side effects.

There are numerous lawsuits against antidepressant manufacturers and a good number of companies have been forced to pay patients damages by covering their medical bills and compensating them for injury and lost wages.

If you commit a crime while under the influence of an antidepressant, you can use that as a defense. However, once you find a lawyer, they will have to convince the prosecution that there was no intent. The effect of the antidepressant medication will be measured by the court to determine your ability to intentionally commit a criminal act or control your conduct.

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