15 Rx Meds With Some of the Most Dangerous Side Effects

For most of us, taking prescription drugs has become about as routine as hopping in the shower. Today a whopping 60% of Americans are popping pills for various ailments, according to The Washington Post. Whether you need a prescription for keeping chronic pain at bay or avoiding pregnancy, there’s a drug most of us feel like we absolutely must have.

Though getting a slip from your doctor to be filled by your pharmacy is commonplace nowadays, we all should be thinking a little more carefully about what we’re putting into our bodies. Here are 15 prescription medications that come with their fair share of dangerous side effects. Remember — just because it’s FDA-approved doesn’t mean your body will welcome it with open arms.

1. Risperdal

older couple in an argument

Risperdal can cause some very undesirable side effects in men and women. | iStock.com

Prescribed for: This antipsychotic is prescribed to patients with schizophrenia to rebalance serotonin and dopamine.

Side effects

  • Low blood pressure
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Muscle tremors and uncontrolled movements

Next: Experiencing gaps in your memory? It could be your sleep aid.

2. Ambien

Asleep girl stopping alarm clock

Ambien can cause excessive sleepiness. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Prescribed for: People with insomnia take this sedative to sleep at night.

Side effects

  • Impaired thinking
  • drowsiness
  • Completely forgetting doing certain activities

Next: Hard time concentrating? It could be your anxiety medication.

3. Xanax

Woman taking pills

Xanax is extremely addictive. | iStock.com/CentralITAlliance

Prescribed for: People take Xanax to ease the effects of anxiety.

Side effects

Next: Feeling more blue than usual? It might be your acne medication.

4. Accutane

Beautiful woman in a bathrobe applying skin moisturizer

Accutane comes with a variety of risks. | iStock.com/Dejan_Dundjerski

Prescribed for: Accutane is a medication used to treat acne.

Side effects

Next: Facial swelling? It could be this medication commonly prescribed for panic disorders.

5. Klonopin

man lost in depression

Klonopin can make depression symptoms worse. | iStock.com

Prescribed for: This medication can help alleviate panic attacks and seizures.

Side effects

Next: Suddenly faint? This Parkinson’s medication can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

6. Mirapex

frustrated and tired businesswoman

Mirapex has many unwanted side effects. | Thinkstock

Prescribed for: Mirapex can help treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Side effects

Next: Experiencing sexual dysfunction? This hair loss medication might be the culprit.

7. Propecia

bald man at work

Propecia can cause sexual dysfunction. | iStock.com

Prescribed for: Propecia halts a process that leads to male-pattern baldness.

Side effects

Next: Yellow skin? This blood pressure medication can cause jaundice.

8. Vasotec

man clutching his heart in pain

Vasotec may affect your liver. | iStock.com

Prescribed for: Vasotec treats high blood pressure by relaxing your arteries.

Side effects

Next: Monitor your heart health if you take these diabetes medications.

9. Actos and Avandia

man checking blood sugar level by glucometer

Actos and Avandia may cause heart failure. | iStock.com/dolgachov

Prescribed for: These medications control blood sugar for people with diabetes.

Side effects

Next: Treatment for an incurable disease can cause liver failure.

10. Viekira Pak

emergency room entrance

Viekira Pak can lead to liver failure. | iStock.com

Prescribed for: Viekira Pak helps people with Hepatitis C manage the disease.

Side effects

Next: Sudden leg pain? It might be your birth control.

11. Yaz

three types of birth control

Yaz may be more dangerous than other types of birth control. | iStock.com

Prescribed for: This birth control pill can help women with hormonal acne and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Side effects

  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Increased risk of blood clots

Next: Unexplained rashes? It could be your epilepsy medication.

12. Lamictal

Woman scratching her arm

Lamictal can cause a severe rash. | iStock.com/Tharakorn

Prescribed for: Lamictal can help manage epilepsy.

Side effects

  • Serious rashes
  • Suicidal thoughts

Next: These common antibiotics can cause nerve damage.

13. Levaquin or Cipro

woman coughing

This antibiotic for chronic bronchitis could be harmful. | iStock.com

Prescribed for: These antibiotics treat bacterial infections like urinary tract infections and chronic bronchitis.

Side effects

Next: Bloody stool? Make sure it isn’t this heart medication.

14. Brilinta

Hand of a blood donor squeezing a medical rubber ball

Brilinta can cause dangerously heavy bleeding. | iStock.com/roibu

Prescribed for: Brilinta can help prevent heart attacks and strokes for those with heart disease.

Side effects

Next: This addiction treatment can cause breathing problems.

15. Methadone

doctor handing out medication

Methadone is highly addictive for some. | iStock.com

Prescribed for: Methadone is used to relieve extreme pain and to lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Side effects

  • Life-threatening breathing problems
  • Addiction
  • Hallucinations

Sarah Kaye Santos also contributed to this story.

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