If you rely on prescription medications to treat or manage a health condition, making sure you receive the correct medication and dosing information is crucial. Pharmacy prescription errors have resulted in hospitalizations and even fatalities for thousands of people in the US. In fact, the Institute of Medicine states that more than 7,000 Americans die each year due to medication errors. The FDA has also received close to 30,000 voluntary reports of these errors since 1992.
Although the FDA has made changes in an effort to reduce these errors, patients should also do what they can to reduce the risk on their end. In order to keep you and your loved ones safe, make sure you take the following steps.
Talk to Your Doctor
When your doctor writes out a prescription, ask what the name of it is and what it is being used for. This helps cut down on pharmacy errors that can occur when your doctor phones in a prescription and the pharmacist hears it wrong. If your doctor writes down the prescription for you to bring to the pharmacy, the name and purpose of the medication should be listed in order to reduce the risk of confusion between drugs with similar names. You should also ask your doctor about the correct dosage for the medication before picking it up at the pharmacy.
When you pick up a newly-prescribed medication, look over the label to make sure the prescription was filled correctly. Check the name of the medication, as well as the dosing instructions, to make sure they match the information provided by your doctor. If this information does not match, let the pharmacist know right away.
Watch for Changes
If you take medication on a regular basis, don’t assume that the pharmacist is filling your prescriptions correctly each time. When you receive your medication, check the labels and let the pharmacist know if you see any changes, such as a different name or different dosing instructions. Before leaving the pharmacy, open your prescriptions to check the medication inside. If they look different from what you normally take, ask the pharmacy about them.
Keep a Record of All Medications
When you take more than one medication, errors involving potential drug interactions can occur. Keep a list of all of the medications you take, and make sure the pharmacist and your doctor both know what is on this list.
If you or a family member has been the victim of a pharmacy prescription error, please contact McAleer Law to speak to an Atlanta personal injury attorney. We’ll guide you through the legal process to ensure that you receive full compensation.