Advancements in technology have availed an enormous range of treatment regimens for both diagnostic and clinical care. Still, some of these treatments come with mild to severe side effects that can make treatment management a major challenge for patients and healthcare providers. As WebMD’s Amanda MacMillan observes, prescription drugs can cause nausea, constipation, diarrhea, or other stomach problems since they pass through the digestive system.
Most side effects go unnoticed as they are mild. However, severe side effects can lead to both direct and indirect costs, in addition to impacting the health of the patient. Discontinuation of medication because of the severity of side effects, for instance, may often mean that a patient has to resort to a different treatment plan altogether – at additional costs.
Fortunately, there are ways through which patients can manage side effects and experience better therapy experience. Healthcare providers play a key role in ensuring proper side effects management and treatment decision making or decision regarding discontinuation of a given treatment regimen in the event of severe side effects.
One way to help patients to manage treatment side effects is to provide them with information on how to do it and the means to report side effects. Any of these efforts must be in compliance with local regulations for collecting and reporting adverse events, loss/lack of efficacy, and product quality complaints.
Waters, E.A., Pachur, T. and Colditz, G.A., 2017. Side effect perceptions and their impact on treatment decisions in women. Medical Decision Making, 37(3), pp.193-203.