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3 Steps to Protect Yourself from Prescription Medication Errors

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Schaumburg prescription medication error lawyer

If you have ever suspected a possible prescription medication error by your doctor or pharmacist, you are not alone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that each year, they receive over 100,000 reports in the United States about suspected medication errors, which pile in from medical professionals, consumers, and drug manufacturers far and wide. Studies have shown that certain populations, such as the elderly and those of low socioeconomic status, are at greater risk of experiencing medication errors, a very serious form of medical malpractice. However, research further reveals that emergency departments are the third most common source for patients receiving incorrect doses or overdoses, placing the general public as a whole at risk.

Prevent Yourself from Becoming a Statistic

With alarming reports of medication errors flooding the news each year, it is only natural for patients in the state of Illinois and nationwide to experience a growing concern about their health and the health of their loved ones. When it comes to protecting your well-being, being a strong advocate of your healthcare is the very best defense against becoming a medical malpractice statistic. Put the following steps into practice to take a proactive approach to protect your health:

  1. Ask questions - Prescriptions begin with diagnosis, and diagnosis begins with discussions with your doctor. Poor communication between patients and doctors is one of the most common causes of medication errors. It is imperative that you ask your doctor questions, address any concerns you have, and have them clarify medication names or any other details specific to your condition that you may feel uncertain about.

  2. Learn about your medications - Another way to ensure that you stay ahead of the game with any potential medication errors is to research the medications you are being prescribed. Do not wait until after you have begun taking the medicine -- start the moment you get home from the doctor. Speak to the pharmacist and learn what you can about the drug, including what side effects to expect and how the prescribed drug may interact with any other medications you are currently taking. Understand what you are about to begin taking before you ingest it, and do not assume your doctor will tell you everything you need to know during your doctor visit. 

  3. Study your prescription labels - While you as a patient are never responsible for a doctor’s or pharmacist’s error, such as mislabeling a drug, you should still carefully read the prescription label on each bottle in your possession before taking any drug. Ask yourself if the dosage and the exact name of the drug on the bottle match the dosage and drug name you discussed with your doctor. If something does not look or seem right, be sure to check with your doctor right away to clear up any potential misunderstandings about your treatment.

Contact an Arlington Heights Medical Malpractice Attorney

No matter how much work you put into protecting yourself from medication errors, medical malpractice incidents can still happen. If you feel you may be experiencing a secondary condition, injury, or strange side effects due to a wrongly prescribed medication, it is time to speak with a qualified Palatine pharmaceutical errors lawyer who can help address your concerns and inform you of your rights in a court of law. Call Newland & Newland, LLP today at 847-797-8000 and request a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-information-consumers/working-reduce-medication-errors

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/medication-errors/art-20048035

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5016741/

 

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