Patient Safety

How to Keep Patients Safe From Harmful Prescription Drug Side Effects

In this article, Cal Cook (Consumer Finance Investigator, ConsumerSafety.Org) cautions patients about the prescription drug side effects, and particularly “black box” warnings. It’s up to the doctor’s discretion to determine whether the benefits outweigh the side effects for the patient’s individual situation.

By Cal Cook (Consumer Finance Investigator, ConsumerSafety.Org) investigates and writes about consumer-focused topics including finance, scams and safety. His passion lies in exposing fraud across all industries to protect consumers.

A “black box” warning is a boxed warning on a prescription drug label that indicates the drug can have seriously harmful side effects. This is the most severe type of warning by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to prescription drug retailer Walgreen’s, this warning is only used “when there is reasonable evidence of an association of a serious hazard with the drug.” There are certainly instances when it’s helpful to give such drugs to patients, but it’s up to the doctor’s discretion to determine whether the benefits outweigh the side effects for the patient’s individual situation.

Read More