Closeup on pills and glass of water on table and sleeping woman in background

You can’t help but laugh when it’s time for prescription drug commercials to list some of the side effects and symptoms.  They always set the tone with serene, beautiful music while showing families laughing, playing and relaxing in gorgeous landscapes . . . all while a soothing voice begins to list off completely horrible symptoms like “diarrhea, vomiting, severe migraines, nausea, genital swelling,” and a host of other terrible maladies.

Unfortunately, sometimes these side effects can get much weirder, in ways you didn’t think possible.  So before you take that pill for your slight headache, read on to find out if you’ll be waking up in a strange city with tattoos you don’t remember getting.

The Urge to Gamble and Engage in Sexual Behavior

If you’ve suffered from Restless Leg Syndrome and have taken Requip, you may have found yourself a few dollars short and with a few too many sexual encounters.  The medication, as explained by the manufacturer, can cause “an unusual urge to gamble or increased sexual urges and/or behaviors.”  On second thought, maybe diarrhea and vomiting don’t sound so bad if it means staying out of debt and preventing unwanted flings . . . and the unintended STDs that could result.

Crying Spells and Rectal Bleeding

Want to get rid of acne? Try taking Accutane, but be warned that this powerful drug has many, many unpleasant side effects.  Some of the worst ones include uncontrollable crying spells, rectal bleeding, bone fractures, and excessive hair growth.  That’s right – in your quest to end the misery of unwanted acne, you might end up spewing bodily fluids from multiple openings and become hairier all at the same time.

Curing Insomnia Means Odd Behavior

Insomniacs have probably taken Ambien at some point in their lives, and while it definitely works well in terms of making you finally fall asleep, the side effects deserve a second look.  Many patients who were studied in clinics were developing odd behaviors while they were asleep, including sleep eating, cooking, driving, talking on the phone, and even having sex while being fully asleep!  The worst part is, these patients had no memory of the previous night’s strange activities the day after, making for a more-than-awkward morning.

Antidepressants Might Make You Too Happy

Many antidepressants have the same group of side effects – headaches, nausea, thoughts of suicide, etc.  But in the case of Zoloft, the medication might make you a bit happier than you intended.  The side effect in question is a “persistent, painful erection” that suffers from “ejaculation failure,” which basically means that your chronic erection will be shooting blanks if anything.  With that said, you should probably avoid this drug if you play an aggressive game of Twister.

Good (but Bad) Tumors

A certain birth control pill by the name of Ortho-Novum has been known to cause benign but dangerous liver tumors.  OK, sure. Benign tumors are the ones you’d prefer to have instead of malignant tumors, yes. These tumors are seemingly harmless creatures . . . that is, until they rupture unexpectedly and cause fatal internal bleeding.  If the tumor doesn’t end up exploding inside of you, the birth control pill also gives you an increased risk of developing full-blown liver cancer.

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Cited Sources

Fortey, Ian. “The 6 Most Unsettling Medication Side Effects.” N.p., 16 Jan. 2008. Web. 25 June 2012. <>.

“9 Drugs with Extremely Disturbing Side Effects.” N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2012. <>.

Haller, Madeline. “3 Meds with the Craziest Side Effects Ever.” Men’s Health Magazine, 9 Feb. 2012. Web. 25 June 2012. <>.

Freeman, Shanna. “Top 10 Weirdest Prescription Drug Side Effects.” Discovery Fit & Health, n.d. Web. 25 June 2012. <>.

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