Side effects, also known as adverse drug reactions (ADRs), are unwanted symptoms that are linked with taking a medicine. They can range from mild, for example feeling sick (nausea) to severe, which can be life-threatening. All medicines can cause side effects, and their frequency can vary from ‘very common’ (more than 1 in 10 people affected) to ‘very rare’ (fewer than 1 in 10,000 people affected).
The risk of side effects can be reduced by taking your medicine as instructed by your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. Always read the patient information leaflet provided with your medicine as this provides information to help you take your medicine correctly.
If you have experienced a side effect when using a medicine, you should report it to the Yellow Card Scheme, which is run by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK.