Medication errors are mistakes in prescribing, dispensing and administering medications. Common causes of such errors include poor communication, ambiguities in product names, directions for use, medical abbreviations or writing and poor dispensing procedures. Medication errors will impact hundreds of thousands of people in the United States alone. Approximately 1.3 million people are injured annually in the United States due to medication errors. While the number may be staggering, taking an active role in your own health care can help you to prevent an adverse drug event from occurring.
Knowledge is power in preventing medication errors. If you do not understand something your medical provider told you, it is important to ask questions to get a proper explanation. If you are starting a new medication, you should always get the answers to the following:
- What is the brand name and the generic name of the medication?
- What is the medication supposed to do for me and when will I see results?
- What dosage does my doctor want me to take? Does the dose my doctor said I should take match the dosage on the medication label?
- What should I do if I miss a dose or accidentally take too much of the medication?
- Are there side effects that I should look for when taking this medication?
- How does the medication react with the other medications I take?
Sometimes, even when we ask all the right questions, a medication error cannot be prevented, especially when the medication is administered by another person. If you have been subjected to a medication error, and have suffered an adverse drug event because of that error, you could have a legal claim that needs to be protected. Contact an attorney at Slater & Norris to protect your legal rights today.