Most drugs of abuse are addictive. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite negative consequences and by long-lasting changes in the brain. People who are addicted have strong cravings for the drug, making it difficult to stop using. Most drugs alter a person’s thinking and judgment, which can increase the risk of injury or death from drugged driving or infectious diseases (., HIV/AIDS, hepatitis) from unsafe sexual practices or needle sharing. Drug use during pregnancy can lead to neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition in which a baby can suffer from dependence and withdrawal symptoms after birth. Pregnancy-related issues are listed in the chart below for drugs where there is enough scientific evidence to connect the drug use to negative effects. However, most drugs could potentially harm an unborn baby.
Anaemia (shortage of red blood cells) is a possible side-effect experienced at the higher doses used for treating PCP. It can also affect people using Septrin for prophylaxis. Some people also experience a shortage of white blood cells. These side-effects are more common if you are also taking certain medications such as zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir ) or ganciclovir. Some people taking Septrin also experience liver problems or increased potassium levels. Blood tests can monitor both your blood cell levels and your liver function . If you are on longer-term treatment with Septrin , you will have regular blood tests to monitor the levels of different blood cells, and other elements, in your blood.