4 Side Effects Of Using Prescription Medication In Women

Women are prone to medication that supposedly help them with their emotional issues. These can be sedatives, mid tranquilizers, or just simple non-narcotic analgesics. The narcotic ones, on the other hand, can become addictive and increase the existing chronic pain syndrome in women.

Diet pills such as amphetamines are being abused by women due to their obsession with body size and shape. Large doses of these drugs cause severe side effects like blurred vision, dizziness, and insomnia. Over-the-counter medications taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding have the possibility of some effect on the growing fetus when popped without a doctor’s prescription.


Senior women are more sensitive to drugs compared to the younger generation, and drug overdose can lead to significant side effects.1 Here the dangerous health hazards of taking prescription or any over-the-counter medications.

1. Addiction To Painkillers

Painkillers breed addictive behavior


Women tend to get addicted to the prescription painkiller leading to an overdose of the same. For even small and bearable pain during periods, women are prescribed painkillers, which is often in high doses. Over time women tend to develop a dependency to these medications and overdosing on them.

This causes problems during pregnancy affecting the fetus and causing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). This is a condition where a group of problems that occur in newborns exposed to prescription painkillers or other drugs while in the womb. While consuming these drugs, women should take precaution.23


2. Drugs Prescribed For Mental Illnesses And Insomnia

Drugs for insomnia and depression do more damage than good

Antidepressants and antianxiety medications are prescribed for women with emotional disorders, mental illnesses, and anxiety issues but these drugs can be abused and overdosed. Tricyclic depressants that are prescribed to control mood changes, when consumed in excess, can cause a coma, respiratory depression, seizures, and heart-rhythm abnormalities.


Many women experience insomnia when dealing with specific emotional or personal issues, thus forcing them to take over-the-counter medications like antihistamines. Drugs like benzodiazepines are used for both anxiety and insomnia, but they are very powerful and can become addictive.

They also reduce the quality of sleep and often create a hangover the next day. Most doctors prescribe them for acute bouts of insomnia to be used at the lowest dose only for a few days. Due to their addictive effect, they can be self-obtained without the doctor’s advice, which will prove to be fatal at times.4


3. Overdose Of Diet Pills

Overdosing on diet pills cause long-term weight loss problems

Amphetamines are used to suppress appetite. Women are consuming diet pills to a large extent, which has no long-term weight loss effect. These pills are also highly addictive and are prone to anger, anxiety, depression, impaired judgment, and inability to experience pleasure. These are just some of the psychological and behavioral changes associated with amphetamine dependence. Physical signs and symptoms include tachycardia or bradycardia, pupillary dilation, nausea, elevated or low blood pressure, and muscular weakness.5


These are just some of the psychological and behavioral changes associated with amphetamine dependence. Physical signs and symptoms include tachycardia or bradycardia, pupillary dilation, nausea, elevated or low blood pressure, and muscular weakness.6

4. Drug Overdose In Pregnant And Elderly Women

Overdosing on pills can be fatal for the fetus of a pregnant woman


The physiological changes that occur during pregnancy alter drug metabolism causing problems for the mother and the fetus making the drugs even more harmful. The growing fetus is unable to metabolize the drugs and cannot eliminate them effectively, which can result in permanent damage.

Paracetamol overdose during pregnancy can have toxic effects on both the mother and the fetus. High maternal serum iron levels can lead to maternal multi-organ failure which can result in spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, or even maternal death.7

Tranquilizers and sedatives frequently used by older women are dangerous if mixed with other drugs that depress the central nervous system. A high rate of hip fractures in older women has been linked with overuse of minor tranquilizers as they can cause frequent falls.8

Safe management of prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs is a challenge for women. They find prescriptions are being handed out quite regularly and the onus is on the patient to be cautious. Women can only resist the urge to use drugs if they practice self-control methods and make it a point to deal with their problems naturally rather than with drugs.