10 Weird Medication Side Effects Strange Side Effects: Blame It on the Meds

Drugs That Add Unwanted Pounds

What if taking a medication could cause you to gain 20 pounds in only three months? That is what one study found for some people who were taking the medication Zyprexa (olanzapine) for bipolar disorder. Common medications used to treat depression, such as Paxil (paroxetine), can also cause unintended weight gain. Other drugs that can pack on the pounds include steroids, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapies, and some diabetes medications.

Sexual Side Effects: An Undesirable Symptom

The most common sexual medication side effect is the loss of the ability to perform or enjoy sex — and this is caused by some drugs that treat depression. These medications are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and they include the common drugs Prozac (fluoxetine), Celexa (citalopram), and Zoloft (sertraline). Another drug side effect is a weird symptom called priapism, a painful erection that lasts for more than four hours, which may occur when taking the antidepressant Desyrel (trazodone).

Beware These Drugs That Cause Birth Defects

Birth defects are a very serious medication side effect — and this is why pregnant women are told not to take any drugs before first checking with their doctor. Types of drugs that can cause birth defects include vitamin A in high doses, some blood pressure medications, and some antibiotics. Two drugs that are especially dangerous and potentially fatal for developing babies are Accutane (isotretinoin) and Thalomid (thalidomide). Accutane is used to treat severe acne and Thalomid is used to treat a type of white blood cell cancer.

Seeing Spots? Could Be Your Medication

Visual disturbances may include blind spots, distorted vision, blurred vision, or halos around lights. Medications that can affect your vision include antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, and medications taken for malaria or tuberculosis. One common medication that can cause the weird symptom of tinting your vision blue or green is the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil).

Meds That Make Hair Grow in Weird Places

Most people are familiar with the hair loss that goes along with some types of cancer treatment, but there are also several other common medications that cause hair loss. These include blood thinners, birth control pills, antidepressants, and medication used to treat gout. Hair growth can also be a drug side effect — women may experience unwanted hair growth from steroid medications and from the drug Danocrine (danazol), used to treat endometriosis


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