list of side effects

60 Side Effects Every Pharmacist Should Know

Clinical Pharmacy

NAPLEX Study Guide

Side Effects

April 27th, 2019by admin

Introduction

Pharmacists are expected to have an intimate knowledge of both side effects and adverse effects. Here, we’ve put together a great range of both effects that every pharmacist should know.

If you are a pharmacy student, graduate or perhaps a student of medicine in other fields, you too will appreciate how challenging it can be to commit side effects or adverse effects to memory. After all, there are many hundreds upon hundreds to recall.

Of course, side effects and adverse effects are not the same thing. These terms are often used interchangeably, even though they are different.

Put simply, side effects can be positive or negative – they are simply the consequence of the effect of drug action. In contrast, adverse effects have a wholly negative impact. There is no conceivable benefit to experiencing an adverse effect.

For example, metformin is associated with weight loss; a side effect. It cannot be considered an adverse effect because, considering the condition the patient has – type 2 diabetes – losing weight is a positive side effect. In contrast, drugs – such as ifosfamide and cyclophosphamide – are associated with hemorrhagic cystitis, or bladder bleeding, which cannot be considered a positive effect. Therefore, it is considered an adverse effect.

We can summarize this relationship by saying that all adverse effects are side effects, but not all side effects are adverse effects.

With this distinction in mind, let’s review the top 50 side effects that every pharmacist should know.

Top 60 Side Effects to Know

Take your time to review the tabled side effects below. If you’re not sure about any of these side effects, take the time to learn why. Anything that contributes to your knowledge of drugs and medicines is never a bad thing.

Of course, many NAPLEX questions focus on common side effects. As part of your pharmacy license exam training, you must have a thorough, detailed and intimate knowledge of these side effects and others.

Let’s get started.

Medicine Side Effects
Aminoglycosides Ototoxicity
Nephrotoxicity
Tetracyclines Tooth discoloration
Photosensitivity
Esophageal irritation
Intracranial hypertension
Bisphosphonates Esophageal irritation
Hypophosphatemia
Osteonecrosis of the jaw
Atypical femoral fracture
Cyclophosphamide
Ifosfamide
Hemorrhagic cystitis
PDE5 inhibitors Hypotension
Nasal congestion
Headache
Dizziness
Tachycardia
Statins Rhabdomyolysis
Diabetes
Elevated liver enzymes
Lamotrigine Skin rash, sometimes SJS/TEN
Isoniazid Pyridoxine deficiency
Peripheral neuropathy
Hepatotoxicity
Amiodarone Blue-gray skin discoloration
Pulmonary toxicity
Thyroid abnormalities
Photosensitivity
Corneal microdeposits
Vancomycin Ototoxicity
Nephrotoxicity
Hepatotoxicity
Blood disorders – thrombocytopenia
Red man syndrome
Quinine Conchonism
Deafness
Blindness
QT prolongation
Fluoroquinolones Tendon rupture
QT prolongation
Lowering seizure threshold
Corticosteroids Steroid-induced diabetes
Osteoporosis
Mood / behavioral changes
Hypertension, hypokalemia
Edema
Immunosuppression
Opioids Constipation
Euphoria
Respiratory depression
Itch
Pupillary constriction
Metformin Weight loss
Lactic acidosis
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Gastrointestinal upset
Trimethoprim Gastrointestinal upset
Hyperkalemia
Elevated creatinine levels
Megaloblastic anemia
Phenytoin Gingival enlargement
Hirsutism
Osteomalacia
Skin coarsening / acne
Nystagmus / ataxia
Purple glove syndrome
ACE inhibitors Persistent, dry cough
Hyperkalemia
Hypotension
Renal failure
Aspirin Bleeding
Stomach ulcers
Reye syndrome (under 16s)
Tinnitus (high doses)
Iron supplements Black stools
Bismuth subgallate Black tongue, black stools
Amphotericin B ‘Shake and bake’ reaction
Hypokalemia
Myocarditis
Hepatotoxicity
Kidney damage
Lithium Hypothyroidism
Diabetes type 2
Kidney damage
Weight gain
Myoclonus
Clofazimine Hyperglycemia
Brown-pink skin discoloration
Skin dryness, rash
Ethambutol Red-green color blindness
Optic neuritis
Hepatotoxicity
Peripheral neuropathy
Hyperuricemia
Clozapine Agranulocytosis
Myocarditis
Hypersalivation
CNS effects
Urinary incontinence
GI hypomotility
Bone marrow suppression
SSRIs Weight disturbance
Gastrointestinal upset
QT prolongation
Hyponatremia
Bone fractures
Serotonin syndrome
Lower seizure threshold
Antimuscarinics Tachycardia
Dry mouth
Blurred vision
Urinary retention
Constipation
Drowsiness
Beta-2 agonists Tachycardia
Palpitations
Anxiety
Tremors
Muscle cramps
Hypokalemia
Sweating
Insomnia
Agitation
Typical antipsychotics Extrapyramidal side effects
QT prolongation
Sexual dysfunction
Atypical antipsychotics Weight gain
Diabetes type 2
Lipid abnormalities
Extrapyramidal effects
Benzodiazepines Drowsiness, sedation
Respiratory depression
Amnesia
Decreased concentration
NSAIDs Gastrointestinal bleeding
Renal impairment
Fluid retention
Photosensitivity
Beta blockers Bronchospasm
Vivid dreams / nightmares
Cold extremities
Hypoglycemia
Methimazole Agranulocytosis
Calcium channel blockers Constipation
Gingival overgrowth
Ankle swelling
Flushing
Rifampin Hepatotoxicity
Red urine, sweat, tears
Methotrexate Hepatotoxicity
Ulcerative stomatitis
Infections
Pulmonary fibrosis
Irinotecan Extreme diarrhea
Cisplatin Hearing loss
Kidney damage
High risk of vomiting
Flucytosine Bone marrow suppression
Loss of appetite
Psychosis
Renal damage
Macrolides QT prolongation
GI effects
Ototoxicity (high doses)
Cholestatic jaundice
Heparin
Warfarin
Antiplatelets
Anticoagulants
Bleeding
Thrombocytopenia (heparin)
Levothyroxine Weight loss
Trouble sleeping
Tachycardia
Anxiety
Difficulty tolerating heat
Palpitations
Thalidomide Phocomelia / limb deformities
Carmustine

Busulfan

Pulmonary toxicity
Iron dextran Severe anaphylaxis
Capecitabine Hand-foot syndrome
Tamoxifen Uterine cancer
Pulmonary embolism
Reduced cognition
Irregular periods
Hot flashes
Nitrates Flushing
Headache
Light-headedness
Hypotension
Nitrofurantoin Gastrointestinal upset
Pulmonary fibrosis
Brown discolored urine
Peripheral neuropathy
Elevated liver enzymes
Hemolyticanemia
Thiazolidinediones Anemia
Dizziness, headache
Edema
Bladder cancer
Bone fractures
Hepatotoxicity
Valproate Gastrointestinal upset
Tremor, ataxia, behavioral effects
Increased liver enzymes
Thrombocytopenia
Hair loss
Pancreatitis
Itraconazole Vision disturbances
Heart failure
Skin rash
Hepatotoxicity
Linezolid Thrombocytopenia
Peripheral neuropathy
Serotonin syndrome
Metronidazole Metallic-like taste
Seizures
Thrombophlebitis (IV use)
Dark urine
Peripheral / optic neuropathy
Encephalopathy (high doses)
Disulfiram-reaction (with alcohol)
Loop diuretics Dehydration
Hypotension
Low electrolyte state
Hearing loss / tinnitus (high doses)
Kidney failure (w/ NSAID + ACE inhibitor)
Hyperuricemia
Aldosterone antagonists Gynecomastia
Hyperkalemia
Allopurinol Skin rash, sometimes SJS/TEN
Hypersensitivity reaction
Bone marrow suppression
Colchicine Rhabdomyolysis
Bone marrow suppression
Gastrointestinal upset

Conclusion

Of course, this list of side effects is by no means exhaustive.

There are many drugs / drug classes we’ve omitted. That said, this is an exceptional learning table to help you recall some of the most well associated side effects of some of the most commonly used medicines.

Your pharmacy license exam is replete with questions that ask you to identify side effects / risks with drugs and medicines. Take the time to learn these side effects and build upon that detail in the weeks and months ahead.

It can make all the difference to your exam result.

NAPLEX Study Guide is the leading online resource to help you pass your pharmacy license exam. Register today to receive access to our NAPLEX question bank – over 2,000+ exam-like questions that focus on the facts that matter.

Don’t stop now! Prepare for the 2019 NAPLEX Exam!

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