Medications can cause numerous side effects, many of them severe. When you are taking those medications to treat a service-connected disability, those side effects can often be service-connected, either in the form of an increased rating for the disability being treated, or as a secondary condition in its own right.

For example, it’s not uncommon for Veterans who are taking medications for a service-connected mental health conditions to suffer from erectile dysfunction, a common side effect for many psychotropic medications. For Veteran’s suffering from low back pain, opioids and other painkillers can also result in erectile dysfunction. Common side effect for medications used to treat chronic pain include gastrointestinal conditions. GERD, IBS, acid reflux, ulcers, abdominal pain, are just some of the side effects of long term chronic pain treatment. Another commonly service-connected disability is hypertension, the medications used to treat it often causing their own set of gastrointestinal side effects, as well as insomnia, depression, headache, among others.