Information for Patients
Most of the time, medicines make our lives better. They reduce aches and pains, fight infections, and control problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes. But medicines can also cause unwanted reactions.
One problem is interactions, which may occur between
- Two drugs, such as aspirin and blood thinners
- Drugs and food, such as statins and grapefruit
- Drugs and supplements, such as ginkgo and blood thinners
- Drugs and diseases, such as aspirin and peptic ulcers
Interactions can change the actions of one or both drugs. The drugs might not work, or you could get side effects.
Side effects are unwanted effects caused by the drugs. Most are mild, such as a stomach aches or drowsiness, and go away after you stop taking the drug. Others can be more serious.
Drug allergies are another type of reaction. They can be mild or life-threatening. Skin reactions, such as hives and rashes, are the most common type. Anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction, is more rare.
When you start a new prescription or over-the-counter medication, make sure you understand how to take it correctly. Know which other medications and foods you need to avoid. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
Infertility is a term doctors use if a man hasn't been able to get a woman pregnant after at least one year of trying. Causes of male infertility include
- Physical problems with the testicles
- Blockages in the ducts that carry sperm
- Hormone problems
- A history of high fevers or mumps
- Genetic disorders
- Lifestyle or environmental factors
About a third of the time, infertility is because of a problem with the man. One third of the time, it is a problem with the woman. Sometimes no cause can be found.
If you suspect you are infertile, see your doctor. There are tests that may tell if you have fertility problems. When it is possible to find the cause, treatments may include medicines, surgery, or assisted reproductive technology. Happily, many couples treated for infertility are able to have babies.
NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development