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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Drugs

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Side Effects: Questions and Answers

How can I find out about side effects or safety concerns for my drug?

To learn about side effects or safety concerns for your drug, read either the drug label or the drug's package insert. You may also want to speak with your pharmacist or healthcare provider.

Another way to learn about your drug’s side effects or safety concerns is to use the Index to Drug-Specific Information.

Do drugs have risks?

All medicines have benefits and risks. The risks of medicines are the chances that something unwanted or unexpected could happen to you when you use them. Risks could be less serious things, such as an upset stomach, or more serious things, such as liver damage. FDA approves a drug for marketing after determining that the drug's benefits outweigh its risks.

How do I report a suspected drug side effect?

Use MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program, to report a suspected drug side effect.