The Most Commonly Prescribed Medications and Their Side Effects

Commonly Prescribed

Most Commonly Prescribed Medications & Side Effects

When it comes to healthcare, medications are often necessary to keep a person healthy and functioning. But, with many types of medication come several side effects that can have a significant impact on overall health. As such, it’s important to understand the most commonly prescribed medications, as well as what to expect in terms of side effects.


Antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed medications for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Most commonly, doctors prescribe drugs such as sertraline, escitalopram, and fluoxetine. These drugs work by altering the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

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Common side effects include drowsiness, nightmares, loss of appetite, stomach pains, and irritability. While these can be uncomfortable, it is important to persist with the medication for an appropriate amount of time in order to allow it to have a chance to work.

Beta Blockers

Beta blockers are another commonly prescribed medication used to regulate blood pressure and coronary artery disease. These drugs work by blocking the effects of hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, reducing the heart rate and blood pressure. Commonly prescribed beta blockers include metoprolol, atenolol and propranolol.

Possible side effects of beta blockers include fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and depression. Long-term use can also lead to an increased risk of developing diabetes and obesity.

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Oral Contraceptives

Oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are one of the most commonly prescribed medications for women. These drugs work by preventing ovulation, or the release of an egg, during a menstrual cycle. Commonly prescribed oral contraceptives include ethinyloestradiol, norethindrone, and drospirenone.

Side effects can include breast tenderness, headaches, nausea, and mood swings. Long-term use could also increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as ovarian and breast cancer.


Painkillers, or analgesics, are drugs that are commonly used to relieve pain. Commonly prescribed painkillers include opioids such as morphine and codeine, as well as over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

Side effects of painkillers can include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and constipation. Long-term use of opioids can also lead to addiction and physical dependence.

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The Impact Of Prescribed Medications On Health

Prescribed medications can help improve a person’s health if used correctly and in combination with lifestyle changes. It is important to be aware of the potential side effects of medications and discuss them with your doctor before starting any new medication. Long-term use of certain medications may increase the risk of developing certain conditions, so it is important to be regularly monitored by a doctor throughout the course of taking a medication.

By being well-informed about the most common types of medication and their potential side effects, you can ensure that you are taking the best possible care of your overall health and wellbeing.