HeadMeds gives young people in the United Kingdom general information about medication. HeadMeds does not give you medical advice. Please talk to your Doctor or anyone else who is supporting you about your own situation because everyone is different. Please read more important details about our site.

How to decide if a medicine is right for you

Each time you have a new medicine, we do not know how well it is going to work for you. We also do not know whether you will have side effects. 

This is because: 

  • Not all medicines work for every person
  • All medicines have side effects - but not everyone gets them

This means that you may need to try a few medicines in turn, to find one that works for you.

Different people have different ways of deciding about whether a medicine is right for them:

  • some just like to do what the doctor says
  • some like to ask the doctor about the possible benefits & side effects
  • some like to know all the possible benefits and side effects – from looking at the leaflet or on websites like this one

The worse the illness, the more some people are prepared to put up with side effects. And some people put up with side effects better than others.

Other things about benefits and side effects

  • some medicines don't start to work straight away – for example medicines for depression usually take a few weeks before they start to work 
  • some side effects can be similar to the illness being treated
  • some side effects get less after a while 
  • some side effects don't happen straight away

What information about benefits and side effects is in the leaflet and on this website?

Often information about side effects is given in words and numbers – such as “this side effect is very common (affects more than 1 in 10 people)”. However, information about benefits is usually given in words only – such as “this medicine can reduce the number of attacks that you have”. Ask your doctor if you want more information about how likely the medicine is to work for you.

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