Is it compulsory for a doctor to tell you the side effects of prescribed medications in Singapore?
Hi, I would like to know if it is a common practice or compulsory practice for a doctor to tell you beforehand the side effect of drugs that they prescribe to you/your child. The reason I'm asking is because my friend's child was prescribed Singulair and has been taking it for a few months now. We think that it has caused more aggressive behavior and even disturbed sleep during the night (kicking and fighting during sleep). The child's parent did not know of the side effect, and only stopped giving the medication after online research said that it could cause prolonged aggressive reactions from the child. It got me thinking that if the side effects were mentioned to parents or patients, we will at least know what to expect and when to stop the medication. Please advise.
Thank you for your interesting question. There are many sources of information about medication side effects:
1. The prescriber
2. The information leaflet with the medication
3. The internet
4. Word of mouth
Often, most prescribers will inform you of common side effects of medications and ones that they may have come across in clinical practice.
Sometimes, there are side effects that the prescriber and manufacturer are unaware of until they occur, this is despite clinical trials and rigorous testing of medications.
These then need to be fed back to the manufacturer and they add it to their information pack.
In this situation, it would be worthwhile if your friend spoke to the prescriber directly and discuss their concerns. Unfortunately, some sources on the internet are not regulated and hence are not always reliable.