The 470 miles that make up the Blue Ridge Parkway
It’s familiar to everyone to hear the litany of side effects that come with nearly any medication. Headaches, achy muscles, blurry vision, exhaustion. These are the normal kinds of side effects. But some medications come with things of a slightly weirder variety. These are the weird side effects.
1. Mirapex is a medication for restless leg syndrome, but it comes with some extras, like short term memory loss that doesn’t come back when you discontinue use. Some patients can’t remember what they did the day before, but that’s not even the worst version of memory loss. For people who take statins, cholesterol medication, you might lose all of your memories, like Duane Graveline who lost all his memory from high school graduation onwards.
2. One of the most commonly used drugs around is Viagra. You might be more hesitant to use it after you hear its side effect: blindness. That’s right, multiple people reported sudden vision loss after using Viagra.
3. Some drugs have side effects that seem pretty cool, like the drugs that make you pee different colors. Flagyl makes it black, Dyrenium comes with blue pee, and Elvail goes green. Of course weird colored pee is usually a sign of something going horribly wrong internally, but it still looks cool.
4. Some drugs don’t just come with physical side effects, but can also change your behavior. Mirapex (already mentioned for memory loss) can also create “increased sexual urges, unusual urges to gamble, or other intense urges,” (drugs.com). Some people also start falling asleep abruptly. Some people say that it’s caused them to develop alcoholism, shopping addictions, and gambling addictions.
5. Most people think of hallucinations as coming with illegal drugs like LSD, but our friend Mirapex can do more than just give you a gambling addiction and take your memory. You also can gain some hallucinations! Lariam, a drug for malaria, has also been linked with hallucinations.
6. Ambien is a well known treatment for insomnia, but it doesn’t always work to just make you fall asleep at bedtime. One man was in a car accident in 2006 and claimed he was in an Ambien blackout and remembered nothing. It’s apparently so normal to get out of bed in the morning with no awareness of what you’re doing that Ambien includes it in its medication guide. Many people have started to do strange things in their sleep, like eating cigarettes or eggshells.
7. Cancer drugs are typically the big guns of medication, but one rare side effect is particularly terrifying. Xeloda can erase your fingerprints.
8. Another night time drug that can lead to terrifying side effects is Lunesta. It can lead to intense nightmares and night terrors, leading people to half wake up in complete terror, sometimes leading to people performing actions that they don’t remember the next morning.
9. One unfortunate side effect of some weight loss drugs like Xenical is “gas with oily discharge, an increased number of bowel movements, an urgent need to have them, and an inability to control them, particularly after meals containing higher amounts of fat than are recommended” [source: Xenical]. This might be because the drug prevents the body from absorbing fat, and comes with a strict low fat diet. If you don’t follow it, things can go poorly.