The 6 Most Unsettling Medication Side Effects


Being the kid who resembles a cross between the pock-marked crater that is Bryan Adams' face and the blistery red ass of a toad is no fun. Trust us, we know.

Thus, acne treatments are huge business. When the standard wipes and ointments have failed, there is the drug Accutane. This is the loose cannon cop of the acne drug world, the last resort when all other options have failed.

Side effects may include ...
Side effects can include crying spells, rectal bleeding and bone fractures.

Uh, wow. OK. Though all of this could be kind of funny if it happened to a friend, we suppose.

Somewhat less amusing, and well worth the description of "alarming" are side effects like hepatitis, psychosis and hirsutism. That last one is, in fact, an overabundance of hair. Finally, and we're unsure of the logistics on this one, but according to, you can also, somehow, end up with herpes.

Basically, in your quest to get rid of acne, it's not outside the realm of possibility, slim though it may be, that you could end up as a psychotic wolfman with VD. One with anal bleeding.

Should you worry?
OK, each of those are just barely in the realm of possibility, and winding up with all of them has probably never happened. If it has, we'd have to speculate it was less the Accutane and more the vengeance of an angry Old Testament God trying to teach someone a lesson about vanity.


Anti-depressant Zoloft comes with enough side effects to turn anyone's terminal frown upside down.

Side effects may include...
While Viagra, predictably, comes with amusing warnings about prolonged erections, Zoloft too can saddle users with a "persistent, painful erection." So whether or not Zoloft actually makes you feel better about the world, the world will at least get the impression you're happy to see it.

This awful wood you're sporting also has the advantage of shooting blanks, as the mechanically labeled "ejaculation failure" is a fairly common side effect of the drug. While ejaculation failure is probably no laughing matter, the combination of words always makes us think of a very important military operation that has gone horribly awry. When the good guys attempt to deploy ejaculation, a computer screen flashes the words "Ejaculation Failure!" in bright, red letters, and the only choice left to save the world from the forces of evil is for the hero, possibly Patrick Swayze, to go out on the wing of an F-16 and ejaculate into the wind. Don't ask why, just accept that it will save the day.

Should you worry?
The ejaculation failure thing happened in about 14 percent of the patients in one study. The persistent painful boner thing is common to most drugs of that type, and shouldn't cause major problems, though can create issues in the workplace if you wrestle or teach ballroom dancing for a living.


Treating bacterial infections has been close to the hearts of sailors, businessmen and dad for years. Knowing this, the medical world wouldn't stop at just penicillin, it had to go out and create many drugs, such as Levaquin, to help battle the nasty souvenirs we get from rusty nails and drunken whores in foreign ports.

Side effects may include ...
It can turn you into a vampire.

Seriously. We mean, it can't make you immortal or bloodthirsty, but it can kill your ability to handle sunlight. It's called "phototoxicity," which is characterized by rapid, second-degree sunburns. So, basically a poor man's vampirism.

To some of us, the ones who took a lot of art in high school and play role playing board games, a side effect that makes you a little more vampiric could be cool. On the other hand, you're also courting some "ruptured tendons." So while you may think you've just become Crypt Lord Lesbos, you take a step towards the closet to put on your black velvet underwear and snap, there goes your Achilles tendon, exploding along with any hopes of ever getting laid.

Should you worry?
The bad stuff is rare and happens mainly to the elderly. If your body is a cesspool of bacteria and your doctor has prescribed you Levaquin as a result, please, please don't stop taking your pills as a result of this article. If your skin starts smoking in the sun or you suddenly start fearing crosses, call the doc and do whatever he says.

For an article about side effects that are a little more useful, check out our rundown of 5 Mental Disorders That Can Totally Get You Laid. Or if you're concerned about how you're going to pay for all of your painful-boner-giving, gambling-problem-inducing medicine, head over to the blog and see what John Edwards plans to do about it.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!