What you need to know about prescription errors

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

As a patient, you trust your health care providers to prescribe the proper medications for your condition. However, prescription errors can occur, potentially causing serious harm. Understanding these errors can help you stay vigilant about protecting your health.

Common types of prescription errors

Below are common types of medication errors that may jeopardize your health:

Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage

One of the most frequent prescription errors involves prescribing the wrong medication or incorrect dosage. This can happen due to miscommunication between you and your health care provider. It can also occur because of illegible handwriting or confusion between similarly named drugs.

Always double-checking your prescription with your doctor and pharmacist may be a good idea to prevent this. This ensures you have the proper medication at the correct doses.

Failure to consider drug interactions

Your health care provider should consider all medications you currently take before prescribing new ones. Certain drug combinations can lead to adverse reactions. They can also reduce the effectiveness of your treatment.

It may be beneficial to provide your doctor with a complete list of your medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.

Insufficient patient education

Sometimes, health care providers may need to provide more information about prescribed medications. Failure to do so can lead to improper use, missed doses or unexpected side effects.

As a patient, you can ask questions about your prescriptions. It pays to have complete knowledge about the proper dosage, potential side effects and any necessary precautions.

Protecting yourself from prescription errors

You may want to take an active role in medication management to safeguard your health. This means asking your doctor to explain why they prescribe a particular medication and how it will help your condition. When picking up prescriptions, verifying that the medication name, dosage and instructions match your doctor’s prescription is a good idea.

Medication errors can easily cause significant harm to a patient. If you experience unexpected side effects or do not feel the medication is working as intended, contact your health care provider immediately. You may also seek advice from an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and legal options.


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