Can You Help Prevent Prescription Drug Errors?
Across the United States, thousands of serious health conditions and deaths are attributed to prescription errors every year. These are caused by many factors; however, most stem from a medical professional’s mistakes. While you cannot completely prevent prescription error, your actions can serve as an essential line of defense to decrease the chances of harm.
At Hallberg Law, P.A., in Saint Paul, we have over four decades of experience defending the rights of victims of medical malpractice and have seen the damage that medication errors have had on our clients’ health and well-being. If you suffered from an error, we can strongly advocate for you and help you pursue the compensation you require.
We recommend that all Minnesotans take the steps below to decrease their chances of suffering from a medication error.
Ask Your Medical Provider Questions
When your doctor prescribes a medication, ask questions about its purpose and whether it has been known to negatively affect other patients. Also, ask about:
- Possible side effects
- Dangerous drug interactions if you take other prescriptions
- What you should do if you forget to take a dose or take more than the regular dose
- What the medication should look like
- How often you should take the medication and at what dose
- How long you should stay on the medication
It is essential to confirm prescription information with your physician even if you think you understand the dosage and timing.
Pay Attention At The Pharmacy
When you pick up your medication at the pharmacy, ask to speak with the pharmacist about the drug. Ask them similar questions to those above, and make sure that their comments align with your doctor’s recommendations.
The medication packaging should describe the appearance of your prescription. Double check that the listed description matches the actual appearance of the medication to prevent taking the wrong medication by mistake. Some medications have similar names; a rushing pharmacist can mistakenly give you the wrong drug.
Many people find that having a system of organizing their medications helps them remember what to take and when to take it. Recommendations for keeping track of medications include:
- Checking that the medicine that you pick up at the pharmacy is precisely what the doctor prescribed
- Storing prescriptions in their original-label bottles
- Maintaining an accurate list of all drugs and dietary supplements
Notify Your Care Providers
Notify your medical provider immediately if you notice any possible side effects after taking a prescription. They can advise you whether you should stop taking that medication or try a different drug. If you discover that you are a victim of a prescription error, stop taking the medication immediately and contact your medical provider for assistance. We also recommend contacting an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can explain your rights.
Contact Us If Prescription Error Harms Your Health
Even if you take precautions against error, mistakes still can happen. If you are the victim of a prescription error, give Hallberg Law, P.A., a call today at 651-255-6810 or contact us online with this form. We will carefully evaluate the details of your incident and advise you on what next steps to take.