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Chapter 4

Drug Side Effects

Side Effects of Psychoactive Medications

This book addresses drugs of all types. The drugs we are dealing with are usually classified as psychotropic – having ability or quality of altering emotions, perceptions, behaviors, and bodily functions – especially true of certain drugs.

This chapter lists many possible side effects experienced from either taking these drugs, or when trying to withdraw from them. If you, or anyone you know, are taking any of these drugs the “real you” could well be buried under some of the following symptoms. But rest assured, no one has all of these side effects, and no single drug or combination of these drugs can produce all the side effects listed here.

You may know from experience that a single withdrawal side effect can be horrifying. And if you, or anyone you know, have ever had a bad withdrawal experience you would probably rather sign up for open-heart surgery without anesthesia than suffer those side effects again. And for this very reason, many people who have contacted The Road Back Program are gun shy at the very thought of withdrawing from a drug. Before The Road Back Program, you were faced with a quandary: suffer the side effects of the drugs, or gut it out and suffer the side effects of withdrawal.

One thing to keep in mind while doing this program or with any inpatient program you might enroll in, if you have a bad day and feel out of sorts, have a headache, an ache or a pain, do not sleep well etc., these feelings or symptoms may not be withdrawal. We all have bad days from time to time and how you feel out of the blue can be quite normal. This can be difficult when you have had insomnia for months and begin to sleep better and then out of the blue you have a difficult night sleeping. If the insomnia last for more than 3 nights then something needs to be done, but an occasional restless night or sleepless night is common.

This past year we had a person call us and she described how she has had a headache for the past 4 days and how it came out of nowhere. She was ½ way off her medication and doing very well and she felt this was a withdrawal side effect and wanted to know what to do. After a little communication and looking for changes that might have taken place, we found out her best friend had died unexpectedly the day before the headaches started.  This might seem easy to spot as a reason for the headaches, but when you are in the middle of withdrawal and you have suffered extreme withdrawal side effects in the past, it can be easy to lose track and worry about the slightest changes in how you feel.

As you read through the list of side effects in this chapter, do keep in mind these emotional and physical conditions existed long before the first psychoactive drug was manufactured. We are only dealing with drug induced side effects with this program.

The Road Back Program helps to eliminate these worries and concerns by reducing the side effects of withdrawal, so that you can come off your drug(s) smoothly and easily. 

The following list is broken down into categories, covering the various areas of the body, such as the nervous system, lymph system, emotional and mental symptoms and so forth. These categories will make it easier for you to find the part of the body or system that you are interested in, or want to know more about.

In this list, you will find many physical ailments and complaints, as well as emotional or mental symptoms that people experience every day because of a specific medical condition. These symptoms and ailments may be the reason that you started using a drug, or conversely, these drugs may actually be causing the negative symptoms you are experiencing now.

This unknown catches almost everyone, doctor and patient alike, off guard. So the question that needs to be answered, in order for you to proceed with The Road Back Program is: Are you dealing with a physical condition that needs to be treated medically or with a by-product symptom of the drug(s) you are taking?

Getting Your Doctor’s Approval

Because of the overload and damage potentially caused by drugs, your body in general, and your immune system in particular, are in a weakened condition, and can thus leave you open to infections and disease. On the other hand, you may be taking prescription medications for actual physical conditions, which could be contra-indicated or need to be closely monitored in terms of doing The Road Back Program. These could include blood thinners and heart medication, as well as clotting agents.

For these reasons, consult your doctor before starting any part of this program to sort out, or discover and correctly determine, whether you are a candidate for The Road Back Program.

After you have ruled out any real medical problem, you will know that if any strange symptom begins during The Road Back Program, you are most likely experiencing something caused by the drug you are taking. Such will be true for both emotional and physical symptoms.

Antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs give such a broad side effect profile, the list of side effects in this chapter are side effects with those drugs. You may be taking a pain killer, hypnotic, alcohol or street drugs, but if you go through the list of side effects in this chapter you will find you have more than a few. The reason the side effects from psychoactive medications mimic other drug side effects is due to what was discussed in earlier chapters and the Science Chapter 23, that being, the activation of the JNK gene and the need for an adaptogen to come in and clean up the havoc created by the drug.

The following list does not include all possible side effects from drugs, this book would need thousands of pages if this were undertaken. Using the Freedom of Information Act, I received all side effects associated with a popular antidepressant medication during clinical trials. That list alone is long enough to make this book be double the size if they were included. The side effects in this chapter are the most common.

The list of side effects in the first part of this chapter are for antidepressants, antipsychotics and ADHD medications. Later in this chapter you will find benzodiazepine, anti-anxiety and sleep medication/ narcotics/hypnotics side effects.

SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS, ANTIPSYCHOTICS AND ADHD MEDICATION

GENERAL BODY

Dry Mouth – Less moisture in the mouth than is usual.

Sweating Increased - A large quantity of perspiration that is medically caused.

Allergy - Extreme sensitivity of body tissues triggered by substances in the air, drugs, or foods causing a variety of reactions such as sneezing, itching, asthma, hay fever, skin rashes, nausea and/or vomiting.

Asthenia - A physically weak condition.

Chest Pains - Severe discomfort in the chest caused by not enough oxygen going to the heart because of narrowing of the blood vessels or spasms.

Chills - Appearing pale while cold and shivering; sometimes with a fever.

Edema of Extremities - Abnormal swelling of the body’s tissue caused by the collection of fluid.

Fall - To suddenly lose your normal standing upright position.

Fatigue - Loss of normal strength so as to not be able to do the usual physical and mental activities. 

Fever - Abnormally high body temperature, the normal being 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Centigrade in humans.  Fever is a symptom of disease or disorder in the body.  The body is affected by feeling hot, chilled, sweaty, weak and exhausted.  If the fever goes too high, or lasts too long, death can result.

Hot Flashes - Brief, abnormal enlargement of the blood vessels that causes a sudden heat sensation over the entire body.  Women in menopause will sometimes experience this.

Influenza (Flu)-like Symptoms - Demonstrating irritation of the respiratory tract (organs of breathing) such as a cold, sudden fever, aches and pains, as well as feeling weak and seeking bed rest, which is similar to having the flu.

Leg Pain - A hurtful sensation in the legs that is caused by excessive stimulation of the nerve endings in the legs and results in extreme discomfort.

Malaise - The somewhat unclear feeling of discomfort you get when you start to feel sick.

Pain in Limb - Sudden, sharp, and uncontrolled leg or arm discomfort.

Syncope - A short period of light-headedness or unconsciousness (black-out) also known as fainting, caused by lack of oxygen to the brain because of an interruption in blood flow to the brain.

Tightness of Chest - Mild or sharp discomfort, tightness or pressure in the chest area (anywhere between the throat and belly).  The causes can be mild or seriously life-threatening because they include the heart, lungs and surrounding muscles.

CARDIOVASCULAR (INVOLVING THE HEART AND THE BLOOD VESSELS)

Palpitation - Unusual and not normal (abnormal) heartbeat, that is sometimes irregular, but rapid, and forceful thumping or fluttering.  It can be brought on by shock, excitement, exertion, or medical stimulants.  A person is normally unaware of his/her heartbeat.

Hypertension - High blood pressure, a symptom of disease in the blood vessels leading away from the heart.  Hypertension is known as the “silent killer.”  The symptoms are usually not obvious; however, it can lead to damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes, and can even lead to stroke and kidney failure.

Bradycardia - The heart rate is slowed from 72 beats per minute, which is normal, to below 60 beats per minute in an adult.

Tachycardia - The heart rate is sped up to above 100 beats per minute in an adult.  Normal adult heart rate is 72 beats per minute.

ECG Abnormal - A test called an electrocardiogram (ECG) records the activity of the heart.  It measures heartbeats as well as the position and size of the heart’s four chambers. It also measures if there is damage to the heart and the effects of drugs or mechanical devices like a pacemaker on the heart.  When the test is abnormal this means one or more of the following are present: heart disease, defects, beating too fast or too slow, disease of the blood vessels leading from the heart or the heart valves, and/or a past or impending heart attack. 

Flushing - The skin all over the body turns red.

Varicose Veins - Unusually swollen veins near the surface of the skin that sometimes appear twisted and knotted, but always enlarged.  They are called hemorrhoids when they appear around the rectum.  The cause is attributed to hereditary weakness in the veins aggravated by obesity, pregnancy, pressure from standing, aging, etc.  Severe cases may develop swelling in the legs, ankles and feet, eczema and/or ulcers in the affected areas.

GASTROINTESTINAL (INVOLVING THE STOMACH AND THE INTESTINES)

Abdominal Cramp/Pain - Sudden, severe, uncontrollable and painful shortening and thickening of the muscles in the belly.  The belly includes the stomach, as well as the intestines, liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, gall bladder, and urinary bladder.

Belching - Noisy release of gas from the stomach through the mouth; a burp.

Bloating - Swelling of the belly caused by excessive intestinal gas.

Constipation - Difficulty in having a bowel movement where the material in the bowels is hard due to a lack of exercise, fluid intake, and roughage in the diet, or due to certain drugs.

Diarrhea - Unusually frequent and excessive runny bowel movements that may result in severe dehydration and shock. 

Dyspepsia/Indigestion.  The discomfort one may experience after eating.  It can be heartburn, gas, nausea, a bellyache or bloating.

Flatulence - More gas than normal in the digestive organs. 

Gagging - Involuntary choking and/or involuntary vomiting.

Gastritis - A severe irritation of the mucus lining of the stomach, either short in duration or lasting for a long period of time.

Gastroenteritis  - A condition in which the membranes of the stomach and intestines are irritated.

Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage - Excessive internal bleeding in the stomach and intestines.

Gastro Esophageal Reflux - A continuous state where stomach juices flow back into the throat causing acid indigestion and heartburn and possibly injury to the throat. 

Heartburn - A burning pain in the area of the breastbone caused by stomach juices flowing back up into the throat.

Hemorrhoids - Small rounded purplish swollen veins that bleed, itch or are painful, and appear around the anus.

Increased Stool Frequency - see “Diarrhea.”  

Indigestion - Inability to properly consume and absorb food in the digestive tract, causing constipation, nausea, stomachache, gas, swollen belly, pain, and general discomfort or sickness.

Nausea - Stomach irritation with a queasy sensation similar to motion sickness and a feeling that one is going to vomit.

Polyposis Gastric - Tumors that grow on stems in the lining of the stomach, which usually become cancerous.

Swallowing Difficulty - A feeling that food is stuck in the throat or upper chest area and won’t go down, making it difficult to swallow.

Toothache - Pain in a tooth above and below the gum line.

Vomiting - Involuntarily throwing up the contents of the stomach, usually accompanied by a nauseated, sick feeling just prior to doing so.

HEMIC & LYMPHATIC (INVOLVING THE BLOOD AND THE CLEAR FLUIDS IN THE TISSUES THAT CONTAIN WHITE BLOOD CELLS)

Anemia - A condition in which the blood is no longer carrying enough oxygen, so the person looks pale and easily gets dizzy, weak and tired.  More severely, a person can end up with an abnormal heart, as well as breathing and digestive difficulties.

Bruise - Damage to the skin resulting in a purple-green-yellow skin coloration that is   caused by breaking the blood vessels in the area without breaking the surface of the skin.

Nosebleed - Blood loss from the nose.

Hematoma - Broken blood vessels that cause a swelling in an area on the body.

Lymphadenopathy Cervical - The lymph nodes in the neck, part of the body’s immune system, become swollen and enlarged by reacting to the presence of a drug.  The swelling is the result of the white blood cells multiplying in order to fight the invasion of the drug.

METABOLIC & NUTRITIONAL  (ENERGY AND HEALTH)

Arthralgia - Sudden sharp nerve pain in one or more joints.

Arthropathy - Joint disease or abnormal joints.

Arthritis - Painfully inflamed and swollen joints.  The reddened and swollen condition is brought on by a serious injury or shock to the body either from physical or emotional causes.

Back Discomfort - Severe physical distress in the area from the neck to the pelvis along the backbone.

Bilirubin Increased - Bilirubin is a waste product of the breakdown of old blood cells.  Bilirubin is sent to the liver to be made water-soluble so it can be eliminated from the body through emptying the bladder.  A drug can interfere with or damage this normal liver function, creating liver disease.

Decreased Weight - Uncontrolled and measured loss of heaviness or weight.

Gout - A severe arthritis condition that is caused by the dumping of a waste product called uric acid into the tissues and joints.  It can become worse and cause the body to develop a deformity after going through stages of pain, inflammation, severe tenderness and stiffness.

Hepatic Enzymes Increased - An increase in the amount of paired liver proteins that regulate liver processes causing a condition in which the liver functions abnormally.

Hypercholesterolemia - Too much cholesterol in the blood cells.

Hyperglycemia - An unhealthy amount of sugar in the blood.

Increased Weight - A concentration and storage of fat in the body accumulating over a period of time caused by unhealthy eating patterns, a lack of physical activity, or an inability to process food correctly, that can predispose the body to many disorders and diseases.

Jaw Pain - The pain due to irritation and swelling of the nerves associated with the mouth area where it opens and closes just in front of the ear.  Some of the symptoms are: pain when chewing, headaches, losing your balance, stuffy ears or ringing in the ears, and teeth grinding.

Jaw Stiffness - The result of squeezing and grinding the teeth while asleep that can cause your teeth to deteriorate, as well as the muscles and joints of the jaw.

Joint Stiffness - A loss of free motion and easy flexibility where any two bones come together.

Muscle Cramp - When muscles contract uncontrollably without warning and do not relax.  The muscles of any body organs can cramp.

Muscle Stiffness - The tightening of muscles making it difficult to bend.

Muscle Weakness - Loss of physical strength.

Myalgia - A general widespread pain and tenderness of the muscles.

Thirst - A strong, unnatural craving for moisture/water in the mouth and throat. 

NERVOUS SYSTEM (SENSORY CHANNELS)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - A pinched nerve in the wrist that causes pain, tingling, and numbing.

Coordination Abnormal - A lack of normal, harmonious interaction of the parts of the body when it is in motion.

Dizziness - Losing one’s balance while feeling unsteady and lightheaded which may lead to fainting.

Disequilibrium - Lack of mental and emotional balance.

Faintness - A temporary condition in which one is likely to become unconscious and fall.                                            

Headache - A sharp or dull persistent pain in the head.

Hyperreflexia - A not normal (abnormal) and involuntary increased response in the tissues connecting the bones to the muscles.

Light-Headed Feeling – An uncontrolled and usually brief loss of consciousness usually caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Migraine - Recurring severe head pain sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, flashes or spots before the eyes, and ringing in the ears.

Muscle Contractions Involuntary – A spontaneous and uncontrollable tightening reaction of the muscles caused by electrical impulses from the nervous system.

Muscular Tone Increased - Uncontrolled and exaggerated muscle tension.  Muscles are normally partially tensed and this is what gives us muscle tone. 

Paresthesia - Burning, prickly, itchy, or tingling skin with no obvious or understood physical cause.

Restless Legs - A need to move the legs without any apparent reason.  Sometimes there is pain, twitching, jerking, cramping, burning, or a creepy-crawly sensation associated with the movements.  It worsens when a person is inactive, and can interrupt sleep so one feels the need to move to gain some relief.

Shaking - Uncontrolled quivering and trembling as if one is cold and chilled.

Sluggishness - Lack of alertness and energy, as well as being slow to respond or perform in life.

Tics - A contraction of a muscle causing a repeated movement not under the control of the person, usually on the face or limbs.

Tremor - A nervous and involuntary vibrating or quivering of the body.

Twitching - Sharp, jerky and spastic motion, sometimes with a sharp sudden pain.

Vertigo - A sensation of dizziness with disorientation and confusion.

MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL

Aggravated Nervousness - A progressively worsening, irritated, and troubled state of mind.

Agitation – A suddenly violent and forceful emotionally disturbed state of mind.

Amnesia - Long term or short term, partial or full memory loss created by emotional or physical shock, severe illness, or a blow to the head where the person was caused pain and became unconscious.

Anxiety Attack - Sudden and intense feelings of fear, terror, and dread, physically creating shortness of breath, sweating, trembling and heart palpitations.

Apathy - Complete lack of concern or interest for things that ordinarily would be regarded as important or would normally cause concern.

Appetite Decreased - Having a lack of appetite despite the ordinary caloric demands of living, with a resulting unintentional loss of weight.

Appetite Increased - An unusual hunger causing one to overeat.

Auditory Hallucination - Hearing things without the voices or noises being present.

Bruxism - Grinding and clenching of teeth while sleeping.

Carbohydrate Craving - A drive or craving to eat foods rich in sugar and starches (sweets, snacks and junk foods) that intensifies as the diet becomes more and more unbalanced due to the unbalancing of the proper nutritional requirements of the body.

Concentration Impaired - Unable to easily focus your attention for long periods of time.

Confusion – An inability to think clearly or understand, preventing logical decision-making.

Crying (Abnormal) - Unusual and not normal (abnormal) fits of weeping for short or long periods of time for no apparent reason.

Depersonalization - A condition in which one has lost a normal sense of personal identity.

Depression - A hopeless feeling of failure, loss and sadness that can deteriorate into thoughts of death.  A very common reaction to or side effect of, psychiatric drugs.

Disorientation - A loss of sense of direction, place, time or surroundings, as well as mental confusion regarding one’s personal identity.

Dreaming (Abnormal) - Dreaming that leaves a very clear, detailed picture and impression when awake that can last for a long period of time and sometimes be unpleasant.

Emotional Lability - Suddenly breaking out in laughter or crying or doing both without being able to control the outburst of emotion.  These episodes are unstable as they are caused by experiences or events that normally would not have this effect on an individual.

Excitability - Uncontrollably responding to stimuli (one’s environment).

Feeling Unreal - The awareness that one has an undesirable emotion like fear, but can’t seem to shake off the irrational feeling.  For example, feeling like one is going crazy, but rationally knowing that it is not true.  The quality of this side effect resembles being in a bad dream and not being able to wake up. 

Forgetfulness - Unable to remember what one ordinarily would remember.

Insomnia - Sleeplessness caused by physical stress, mental stress or stimulants, such as coffee or medications; a condition of being abnormally awake when one would ordinarily be able to fall and remain asleep.

Irritability – An abnormal reaction of being annoyed or disturbed in response to a stimulus (the environment: that which is happening around one).

Jitteriness - Nervous fidgeting without apparent cause.

Lethargy - Mental and physical sluggishness and apathy (a feeling of hopelessness that “nothing can be done”) which can deteriorate into an unconscious state resembling deep sleep.  A numbed state of mind.

Libido Decreased - An abnormal loss of sexual energy or desire.

Panic Reaction - A sudden, overpowering, chaotic and confused mental state of terror resulting in being doubt-ridden, often accompanied with hyperventilation and extreme anxiety.

Restlessness Aggravated - A constantly worsening troubled state of mind characterized by the person being increasingly nervous, unable to relax, and easily angered.

Somnolence - Feeling sleepy all the time or having a condition of semi-consciousness.

Suicide Attempt - An unsuccessful deliberate attack on one’s own life with the intention of ending it.

Suicidal Tendency - Most likely will attempt to kill oneself.

Tremulousness Nervous - Very jumpy, shaky, and uneasy, while feeling fearful and timid.  The condition is characterized by thoughts dreading the future, involuntary quivering, trembling, and feeling distressed and suddenly upset.

Yawning - Involuntary opening of the mouth with deep inhalation of air.

REPRODUCTIVE FEMALE

Breast Neoplasm - A tumor or cancer, of either of the two milk-secreting organs on the chest of a woman. 

Menorrhagia - Abnormally heavy menstrual period or a menstrual flow that has continued for an unusually long period of time.

Menstrual Cramps - Painful, involuntary uterus contractions that women experience around the time of their menstrual period, sometimes causing pain in the lower back and thighs.

Menstrual Disorder - A disturbance or derangement in the normal function of a woman’s menstrual period.

Pelvic Inflammation - The reaction of the body to infectious, allergic, or chemical irritation, which, in turn, causes tissue irritation, injury, or bacterial infection characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes loss of function. The reaction usually begins in the uterus and spreads to the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other areas in the hipbone region of the body.

Premenstrual Syndrome - Various physical and mental symptoms commonly experienced by women of childbearing age usually 2 to 7 days before the start of their monthly period.  There are over 150 symptoms including eating binges, behavioral changes, moodiness, irritability, fatigue, fluid retention, breast tenderness, headaches, bloating, anxiety, and depression.  The symptoms cease shortly after the period begins, and disappear with menopause.

Spotting Between Menses - Abnormal bleeding between periods.  Unusual spotting between menstrual cycles.

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM (ORGANS INVOLVED IN BREATHING)

Asthma - A disease of the breathing system initiated by an allergic reaction or a chemical, with repeated attacks of coughing, sticky mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest.  The disease can reach a state where it stops a person from exhaling, leading to unconsciousness and death.

Breath Shortness - Unnatural breathing, using a lot of effort resulting in not enough air taken in by the body.

Bronchitis - Inflammation of the two main breathing tubes leading from the windpipe to the lungs.  The disease is marked by coughing, a low-grade fever, chest pain, and hoarseness, caused by an allergic reaction.

Coughing - A cough is the response to an irritation, such as mucus, that causes the muscles controlling the breathing process to expel air from the lungs suddenly and noisily to keep the air passages free from the irritating material.

Laryngitis - Inflammation of the voice box characterized by hoarseness, sore throat, and coughing.  It can be caused by straining the voice or exposure to infectious, allergic or chemical irritation.

Nasal Congestion - The presence of an abnormal amount of fluid in the nose.

Pneumonia Tracheitis - Bacterial infection of the air passageways and lungs that causes redness, swelling and pain in the windpipe.  Other symptoms are high fever, chills, pain in the chest, difficulty breathing, and coughing with mucus discharge.

Rhinitis - Chemical irritation causing pain, redness and swelling in the mucus membranes of the nose.

Sinus Congestion - The mucus-lined areas of the bones in the face that are thought to help warm and moisten air to the nose.  These areas become clogged with excess fluid or become infected.

Sinus Headache - An abnormal amount of fluid in the hollows of the facial bone structure, especially around the nose.  This excess fluid creates pressure, causing pain in the head.

Sinusitis - The body reacting to chemical irritation causing redness, swelling and pain in the area of the hollows in the facial bones especially around the nose.

SKELETAL

Neck/Shoulder Pain - Hurtful sensations of the nerve endings caused by damage to the tissues in the neck and shoulder, signaling danger of disease.

SKIN AND APPENDAGES (SKIN, LEGS AND ARMS)

 Acne - Eruptions of the oil glands of the skin, especially on the face, marked by pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, bumps, and more severely, by cysts and scarring.

Alopecia - The loss of hair, baldness.

Angioedema - Intense itching and swelling welts on the skin called hives caused by an allergic reaction to internal or external agents.  The reaction is common to a food or a drug. Chronic cases can last for a long period of time. 

Dermatitis - Generally irritated skin that can be caused by any of a number of irritating conditions, such as parasites, fungus, bacteria, or foreign substances causing an allergic reaction.  It is a general inflammation of the skin.

Dry Lips - The lack of normal moisture in the fleshy folds that surround the mouth.

Dry Skin - The lack of normal moisture/oils in the surface layer of the body.  The skin is the body’s largest organ.

Epidermal Necrolysis - An abnormal condition in which a large portion of the skin becomes intensely red and peels off like a second-degree burn.  Often the symptoms include blistering.

Eczema - A severe or continuing skin disease marked by redness, crusting and scaling, with watery blisters and itching.  It is often difficult to treat and will sometimes go away only to reappear again.

Folliculitis  - Inflammation of a follicle (small body sac), especially a hair follicle.  A hair follicle contains the root of a hair.

Furunculosis - Skin boils that show up repeatedly.

Lipoma - A tumor of mostly fat cells that is not health endangering.

Pruritus - Extreme itching of often-undamaged skin.

Rash - A skin eruption or discoloration that may or may not be itching, tingling, burning, or painful.  It may be caused by an allergy, a skin irritation or a skin disease.

Skin Nodule - A bulge, knob, swelling or outgrowth in the skin that is a mass of tissue or cells.

RELATED TO THE  SENSES

Conjunctivitis - Infection of the membrane that covers the eyeball and lines the eyelid, caused by a virus, allergic reaction, or an irritating chemical.  It is characterized by redness, a discharge of fluid and itching.

Dry Eyes - Not enough moisture in the eyes.

Earache - Pain in the ear.

Eye Infection - The invasion of the eye tissue by a bacteria, virus, fungus, etc, causing damage to the tissue, with toxicity.  Infection spreading in the body progresses into disease.

Eye Irritation - An inflammation of the eye.

Metallic Taste - A range of taste impairment from distorted taste to a complete loss of taste.

Pupils Dilated - Abnormal expansion of the black circular opening in the center of the eye.

Taste Alteration - Abnormal flavor detection in food.

Tinnitus - A buzzing, ringing, or whistling sound in one or both ears occurring from the use of certain drugs.

Vision Abnormal - Normal images are seen differently by the viewer than by others.

Vision Blurred - Eyesight is dim or indistinct and hazy in outline or appearance.

Visual Disturbance - Eyesight is interfered with or interrupted.  Some disturbances are light sensitivity and the inability to easily distinguish colors.

URINARY SYSTEM

Blood in Urine - Blood is present when one empties the liquid waste product of the kidneys through the bladder by urinating in the toilet, turning the water pink to bright red.  Or you can see spots of blood in the water after urinating. 

Dysuria - Difficult or painful urination.

Kidney Stone - Small hard masses of salt deposits that the kidney forms.

Urinary Frequency - Having to urinate more often than usual or between unusually short time periods.

Urinary Tract Infection - An invasion of bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc., of the system in the body.  This starts with the kidneys, which eliminate urine from the body.  If the invasion goes unchecked, it can injure tissue and progress into disease.

Urinary Urgency - A sudden compelling urge to urinate, accompanied by discomfort in the bladder.

UROGENITAL (URINARY TRACT AND/OR GENITAL STRUCTURES OR FUNCTIONS)

Anorgasmia - Failure to experience an orgasm.

Ejaculation Disorder - Dysfunction of the discharge of semen during orgasm.

Menstrual Disorder - Dysfunction of the discharge during the monthly menstrual cycle.

VIOLENT OR PHYSICALLY DANGEROUS  SIDE EFFECTS:

Acute Renal Failure - The kidneys stop excreting waste products properly, leading to rapid poisoning (toxicity) in the body.

Anaphylaxis - A violent, sudden, and severe drop in blood pressure caused by a re-exposure to a foreign protein or a second dosage of a drug that may be fatal unless emergency treatment is given right away.

Grand Mal Seizures (or Convulsions) - A recurring sudden, violent and involuntary attack of muscle spasms with a loss of consciousness.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome - A life threatening, rare reaction to an anti-psychotic drug marked by fever, muscular rigidity, changed mental status, and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

Pancreatitis - Chemical irritation with redness, swelling, and pain in the pancreas where digestive enzymes and hormones are secreted.

QT Prolongation - A very fast heart rhythm disturbance that is too fast for the heart to beat effectively so the blood to the brain falls, causing a sudden loss of consciousness and may cause sudden cardiac death.

Rhabdomyolysis - The breakdown and release of muscle fibers into the circulatory system.  Some of the fibers are poisonous to the kidney and frequently result in kidney damage.

Serotonin Syndrome - A disorder brought on by excessive levels of serotonin. It is caused by drugs and can be fatal. Symptoms include euphoria, drowsiness, sustained and rapid eye movement, agitation, reflexes overreacting, rapid muscle contractions, abnormal movements of the foot, clumsiness, feeling drunk and dizzy without any intake of alcohol, jaw muscles contracting and relaxing excessively, muscle twitching, high body temperature, rigid body, rotating mental status - including confusion and excessive happiness - diarrhea and loss of consciousness.

Thrombocytopenia - An abnormal decrease in the number of blood platelets in the circulatory system. A decrease in platelets would cause a decrease in the ability of the blood to clot when necessary.

Torsades de Pointes – An unusually rapid heart rhythm starting in the lower heart chambers.  If the short bursts of rapid heart rhythm continue for a prolonged period, it can degenerate into a more rapid rhythm and can be fatal.

Benzodiazepine Side Effects

CARDIAC DISORDERS

Palpitation - Perceptible forcible pulsation of the heart, usually with an increase in frequency or force, with or without irregularity in rhythm.

Tachycardia - Rapid heart rate.

E AR AND L ABYRINTH DISORDERS

Ear pain - Any pain connected to the inner or outer portion of the ear.

Tinnitus - A sound in one ear or both ears, such as buzzing, ringing, or whistling, occurring without an external stimulus and usually caused by a separate condition, such as the use of benzodiazepines.

Vertigo - A sensation of irregular or whirling motion, either of oneself or of external objects.

EYE DISORDER

Blurred vision - Compared to normal, a distortion of vision.

Mydriasis - Prolonged abnormal dilation of the pupil of the eye induced by a drug or caused by disease.

Photophobia -  An abnormal sensitivity  to  or  intolerance of light, especially by the eyes, as may be caused by eye inflammation.  An abnormal fear of light.

GASTROINTESTIONAL DISORDERS

Abdominal pain - Pain between the chest and pelvis, stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, and pancreas.

Constipation - Difficulty having normal bowel movement.

Diarrhea - Excessive and frequent evacuation of watery feces.

Dry mouth - When the mouth is dry beyond what might be normal.

Dyspepsia - Disturbed digestion; indigestion.

Dysphagia - Difficulty in swallowing or inability to swallow.

Nausea - A feeling of sickness with the urge to vomit.

Pharyngolaryngeal syndrome - Of or pertaining to the larynx or pharynx.

Salivary hypersecretion  - A continual or excessive amount of saliva that is uncontrollable.

Vomiting - Ejecting all or part of the stomach contents.

GENER AL DISORDERS

Asthenia - Loss or lack of bodily strength.

Chest tightness - A feeling in the chest of contraction.

Edema - An accumulation of an excessive amount of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or body cavities.

Fatigue The body feeling drained of energy.

Feeling drunk - Feelings associated with drinking too much alcohol.

Feeling hot or cold - An uncontrollable feeling of being too hot or cold that is abnormal  for the temperature.

Feeling jittery - An uneasy feeling often associated with the inability to remain still.

Hangover - Feeling like the day after consuming too much alcohol. All or a few hangover sensations may be present.  

Increased energy - An abnormal amount of energy bordering on hyperness.

Loss of control of legs Inability to control  legs, such as restless leg syndrome.

Malaise - A vague feeling of bodily discomfort, as at the beginning of an illness.

Pyrexia Fever.

Rigors - Shivering or trembling, as caused by a chill. A state of rigidity in living tissues or organs that prevents response to stimuli.

Sluggishness - A fatigue type feeling or dull.

Thirst - An abnormal sensation of needing liquid.

Weakness - A reduced state of normal energy and stamina.

INFECTIONS AND INFESTATIONS

Influenza symptoms - The body feeling and at times the manifestation of flue like symptoms.

Upper respiratory tract infections - Infection of the nose, sinuses, pharynx (part of neck and throat) or larynx (commonly known as the voice box).

MENTAL DISORDERS

Abnormal dreams - Nightmares or dreams that are upsetting to the individual.

Aggression - Hostile or destructive behavior or actions.

Agitation - A feeling where something or anything could set a person toward anger or combativeness.

Anger - Uncontrollable and volatile emotion with rage; usually  an attempt to stop someone or something.

Anxiety - A state  of uneasiness  and apprehension,   as about future uncertainties.  A state of intense apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a threatening event or situation, often to a degree that normal physical and psychological functioning is disrupted.

Apathy - A feeling of no hope, such as if anything can be done it would not work.

Bradyphrenia - A slowness of the mind.

Confusion - An impaired orientation with respect to time, place or the form of an event.

Depersonalization - A state in which the normal sense of personal identity and reality is lost, characterized  by feelings that ones actions and speech cannot be controlled.

Depressed mood - A lowering of the state of mind or emotion compared to what a person normally feels.

Depression - A feeling of no hope.

Derealization -  The  feeling that  things  in  ones  surroundings  are strange, unreal, or somehow altered, as seen in schizophrenia.

Disorientation A loss of sense of direction, position, or relationship with ones  surroundings.  A temporary or permanent state  of confusion regarding place, time or personal identity.

Dysphonia - An emotional state marked by anxiety, depression, and restlessness.

Euphoric mood - A feeling of great happiness or well-being, commonly exaggerated and not necessarily well founded.

Hallucination - False or distorted perception of objects or events with a compelling sense of their reality, usually resulting from a traumatic life event or drugs.

Homicidal ideation - The formation of the idea or having the mental image of murder.

Hypomania - A mild form of mania, characterized by hyperactivity and euphoria.

Impulse control - A sudden pushing or driving force. A sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination.

Insomnia - Chronic inability to fall asleep  or remain asleep  for an adequate length of time.

Irritability - 1. The capacity to respond to stimuli. 2. Abnormal or excessive sensitivity to stimuli of organism, organ, or body part.

Libido decreased - Sexual desire decreased.

Libido increased - Sexual desire increased.

Logorrhea - Incoherent talkativeness.

Mania - A manifestation of bipolar disorder characterized by profuse and rapidly changing ideas, exaggerated gaiety, and excessive physical activity.

Mood swings - The up and or down movement of emotions that are uncontrollable.

Nervousness - Easily agitated or distressed.

Nightmare - A dream creating intense fear, horror, and distress.

Psychomotor retardation - The retardation of movement and or mental process.

Restlessness - An uneasy feeling of not being able to be where one is located comfortably.

Suicidal ideation - The formation of an idea or mental image of killing one self.

METABOLISM AND NUTRITION DISORDERS

Anorexia - Loss of appetite, usually including a fear of becoming obese or a aversion toward food.

Appetite decreased - A decrease in the feeling one needs food for survival.

Appetite increased - An increase of the desire for food for survival.

MUSCULOSKELETAL AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISORDERS

Arthralgia - Severe pain in a joint.

Back pain - An unexplained pain anywhere in the back.

Muscle cramps - Muscle being contracted to the point of discomfort.

Muscle twitching - A rhythmic or irregular involuntary movement of any muscle.

Myalgia - Muscular pain or tenderness, especially when nonspecific.

Pain in limb - Pain in arm or leg.

NERVOUS SYSTEM DISORDERS

Amnesia - The loss or impairment of memory.

Ataxia - Loss of the ability to coordinate muscular movement.

Coordination abnormal - Maintaining balance of the body difficult in comparison to what is normal for the person.

Disturbance in attention - Not able to remain as focused  as one was able to in the past.

Dizziness - A disorienting sensation such as faintness, light-headedness, or unsteadiness.

Dysarthria - Difficulty in articulating words due to emotional stress or to paralysis or incorordination of the muscles used in speaking.

Dyskinesia - An impairment in the ability to  control movements, characterized by spasmodic or repetitive motions of lack of coordination.

Headache - A continual or time specific duration with pressure or pain within the head.

Hypersomnia - A condition in which one sleeps for an excessively long time but is normal in the waking intervals.

Hypoesthesia - Drowsiness.

Hypotonia - Reduced tension or pressure, as of the intraocular fluid in the eyeball. Relaxation of the arteries.

Memory impairment - Not able to recall an instance from the past as well as before.

Mental impairment - The ability to think and reason diminished.

Paresthesia - A skin sensation, such as burning, prickling, itching, or tingling.

Sedation - An over expression of reduction of anxiety, stress, irritability or excitement.

Seizures - A sudden attack, spasm, or convulsion,  as in epilepsy.  

Sleep apnea - A temporary  cessation of breathing while sleeping.

Sleep talking - Speaking words while asleep.

Somnolence - A state of drowsiness; sleepiness. A condition of semi- consciousness approaching coma.

Stupor - A state of impaired consciousness characterized by a marked diminution in the capacity to react to environmental stimuli.

Syncope - A brief loss of consciousness caused by a sudden fall of blood pressure or failure of cardiac systole, resulting in cerebral anemia.

Tremor - An involuntary trembling movement.

RENAL, THOR ACIC, AND MEDIASTINAL DISORDERS

Difficulty in micturition - Difficulty with urination or the frequency of.

Urinary frequency - An abnormal frequency of urination.

Urinary incontinence - Involuntary leakage of urine.

REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM AND BRE AST DISORDERS

Dysmenorrhea - A condition marked by painful menstruation.

Premenstrual syndrome - A group of symptoms, including abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, headache, fatigue, irritability, and depression.

Sexual dysfunction - A non-normal, for the individual, behavior or ability to have sex.

RESPIR ATORY, THOR ACIC AND MEDIASTINAL DISORDERS

Choking sensation - A feeling of choking with or without cause.

Dyspnea - Difficulty in breathing, often associated with lung or heart disease and resulting in shortness of breath.

Epistaxis - Nosebleed.

Hyperventilation - Abnormally fast or deep respiration resulting in the loss of carbon dioxide from the blood, thereby causing a decrease in blood pressure and sometimes fainting.

Nasal congestion - A stoppage or restriction of the nasal passage.

Rhinitis - Inflammation of the nasal membranes.

Rhinorrhea - A discharge from the mucous membrane,  especially if excessive.

VASCUL AR DISORDERS

Hot flashes A sudden, brief sensation of heat, often over the entire body, caused by a transient dilation of blood vessels of the skin.

Hypotension - Abnormally low arterial blood pressure.

SKIN AND SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE DISORDERS

Clamminess - Abnormally moist, sticky and cold to the touch. Pruritus - Severe itching, often of undamaged skin.

Rash - A skin eruption.

Sweating increased - Abnormal increase of perspiration.

Urticaria - A skin condition characterized by welts that itch intensely, caused by an allergic reaction, an infection, or nervous condition.