DEAR DOCTOR K: I need to start taking a new medication to treat a recently diagnosed condition. Is there anything I can do to reduce the risk of side effects?
DEAR READER: My colleague Dr. Gordon Schiff, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says it well: "All drugs have effects -- the ones we want and the ones we don't. The unwanted effects are known as side effects." When you take a drug, it is distributed throughout your body, to all your organs and tissues. The drug may do different things in those different organs.