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Almost all medications have some side effects in some people. This applies not only to prescription drugs, but also to over-the-counter drugs, illicit drugs, and alternative treatments. Surprisingly, some medications can actually cause entire diseases in some patients. The treatment may be worse than the disease. However, the possibility that a medication is causing the disease is not always immediately considered by a doctor.
For example, certain over-the-counter headache tablets can eventually cause chronic headaches if overused. Whereas the medications may have been appropriate initially for a brief headache, if you are taking them regularly, they may now be the cause rather than the cure.
Another common example is dementia in the elderly. It is common for elderly patients to be misdiagnosed with dementia or delirium, and have this attributed to medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or stroke. However, there are various medications and combinations of medications that can cause mental symptoms that appear like dementia or delirium.
Because of the possibility of medication-caused conditions it is critically important that your doctor knows what medications you take. Usually your doctor will ask when taking your medical history, but if they don't ask, make sure you tell your doctor anyway. This comment applies not only to prescription medications, but also to over-the-counter medications and any alternative medications or treatments you may be using.
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