The 5 Weirdest Prescription Drug Side Effects Known To Man

The other day, I came across an old article written by comedian Denis Leary. After first thinking to myself, “holy shit, who knew that Denis could write?” I then thought that the article he wrote six years ago for about drug side effects was super interesting, as it’s a topic that has always fascinated me.

There’s nothing more entertaining that TV prescription drug commercials telling viewers that, while they might make you happier, harder, and less interested in jumping off a rooftop, they also might cause “suicidal thoughts,” “impotency” or “death.”

Good times.

Leary’s post noted, “Nausea, anal leakage, dysplasia, and temporary blindness are not just great name choices for late 80’s heavy metal bands—they are but a few of the little prices Americans are willing to pay each time they swallow a magic pill designed to help them lose weight, gain confidence, stop shaking or become the proud owners of medically-induced erections.”

Funny shit. And the dude certainly had a point.

Hence, in this world of over-prescribed meeds—where Michael Jackson could somehow get a doctor’s note for horse tranquilizers—here’s a Top 5 list of the side effects from the drugs that are supposed to be designed to help people.


Cymbalta is a depression and anxiety drug that’s also used for chronic pain stemming from a number of maladies not inclusive of the anguish caused by watching Kardashian-focused reality television or hearing Bon Iver music (seriously, Bon Iver really sucks—WTF?). So Cymbalta sounds kind of reasonable, as long as you don’t mind symptoms like dizziness, insomnia, drowsiness, diarrhea, constipation, erectile dysfunction, vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia, decreased libido and restlessness.

The magic of Cymbalta, at least to me, is that it can cause both diarrhea and constipation as well as both insomnia and drowsiness. That’s tragic.


Lipitor is used to treat high cholesterol and to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in people with Type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. Well intended, indeed—much like Tinder simply aspires to bring lonely people together. That is, until you consider that Lipitor may lead to diarrhea, joint pain, insomnia, nausea and – ouch! – urinary tract infections. Good times. Maybe the cholesterol thing isn’t so bad?


Opdivo is a skin cancer medicine that works with your immune system to interfere with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. It’s specific to skin cancer that cannot be treated with surgery, or that has spread to other parts of the body. I dig. I spend way too much time in the sun drinking beer and doing karate chops on trees.

That being said, potential side effects include this thing called “death,” as well as watery or bloody diarrhea; blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; chest tightness, slowed heartbeat, trouble breathing and a host of other fun stuff.


Victoza is an injectable drug used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes specific to adults who are obese or overweight due to a lack of exercise. In short, it’s for really lazy people who eat themselves into the joy of diabetes. Fun! Side effects include pancreatitis bringing severe pain in the upper stomach and back, pounding heartbeats, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, swelling or a lump in the throat area, and urinating less than usual or not at all among others. Just gonna let this one speak for itself.


Zoloft is another antidepressant used to treat people with depression, panic, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, post-traumatic stress and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Joyful, isn’t it

Either way, if you suffer from these maladies, sure, you can take it. Just as long as you don’t mind having tremors, diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, anorexia, decreased libido (red flag!), delayed ejaculation (blood red flag!!!) or even ejaculation failure (OK, no go on this one). You also may become agitated, have pain, vomit or experience abdominal pain. Maybe depression is the least of your worries?

Author: Aaron Perlut is the noted creator of the fist bump, a mustache visionary, and founder of Elasticity and Startup Voodoo