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How Can Medication Errors Be Reduced?

  Alan Fuchsberg  |  July 20, 2015  |  

An adverse drug event is a medication error that causes harm. In order to reduce the risk of experiencing such an error, it’s important that you learn as much as you can about the medications prescribed to you. However, over-the-counter drugs and homeopathic remedies can also cause problems, either on their own or when mixed with other medications.

It’s important to make sure that your health care provider and your pharmacist are aware of all medications that you are taking. This is one of the best ways you can prevent an adverse drug event. In order to prevent other medication errors, make sure that you are aware of the answers to these questions:

  • What is the medication supposed to do and how long is it going to be before I see results?
  • How long do I take the medication and how much do I take?
  • Should I avoid any medications, activities, food or drinks while I am taking this medication?
  • What happens if I miss a dose? Do I take it once I remember?
  • What happens if I have begin to experience side effects and what should I do?
  • What happens if I were to take more than prescribed by accident and what should I do?

Avoiding Medication Errors at Home

There are some common mistakes that patients make when it comes to their medications, including:

  • Chewing medications that aren’t supposed to be chewed.
  • Cutting pills in half that your doctor didn’t tell you to cut in half.
  • Using a tablespoon instead of a measuring spoon to take your medication.
  • Confusing eye drops and ear drops.

As you can see, it can be very easy to make mistakes when taking medication. However, if you communicate with your doctor and pharmacist, there should be less of a chance of problems.

In some cases, a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or a pharmacist fills a prescription incorrectly. If this has happened to you or a loved one and, as a result, you or your loved was injured or your condition was made worse, you may have a cause for a medical malpracticelawsuit. Contact our law office, which serves clients in the New York area, with any questions.

Data Source: Mayo Clinic, “Medication errors: Cut your risk with these tips,” accessed July 01, 2015

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