Impact and effects of long-term medication use

Nina Ross
Certified Naturopathic Doctor
November 12, 2023

Prescription medications can be a lifesaver, but long-term use can come with some harmful side effects.

When you take a prescription medication, your body becomes accustomed to it and can develop a dependency. This means that if you stop taking the medication, you might experience withdrawal symptoms. These can range from mild to severe, depending on the medication and your individual body.

But dependency is just one of the potential dangers of long-term prescription use. These medications can also have unintended side effects on your body. For example, some medications can affect your liver or kidneys, leading to organ damage over time. Others can interfere with your digestive system, causing issues like constipation or diarrhea.

Long-term prescription use can also lead to a phenomenon known as "pill fatigue." This is when you become so used to taking medication that you start to feel like you need it just to function normally. This can lead to a dangerous cycle of relying on medication to feel "normal," rather than addressing the root cause of your health issues.

So what can you do to minimize the harmful effects of long-term prescription use? One option is to work with your healthcare provider to find the lowest effective dose of your medication. You can also ask about alternative treatments, such as therapy or lifestyle changes, that could potentially reduce your need for medication. It's also important to be proactive about your health by eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and managing stress.

Prescription medications can be a valuable tool, but it's important to be aware of the potential risks of long-term use. By taking steps to minimize these risks, you can protect your overall health and well-being.

Nina Ross
Certified Naturopathic Doctor

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