Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are victims of a medication error every year. Despite a doctor’s best intentions, they may make a mistake in writing your prescription. You or your pharmacist may have misread it as well.
Learn about the medications you take
Before taking any medication, you should research your doctor’s prescription to learn about the medication, its potential side effects and typical dosage. If you notice something out of the ordinary, ask your doctor for clarification. Common causes of medication errors are poor communication between doctors, mishearing the drug name, misunderstanding the abbreviations and poor communication between you and your doctor. It’s a good idea to double-check that you understand the prescription correctly, including its spelling.
Double-check with your doctor
Ask your doctor how long it should take until you see results from the medication and what it’s supposed to do. Also, ask what to do if you miss a dose or if you accidentally take more than the prescribed dose. Find out how the prescription will interact with any other medications, herbs and nutritional supplements you are taking or could possibly take, such as Tylenol or Advil. You should also inform your doctor about any vaccines you have taken or plan to take while on the prescription.
Don’t split pills or use silverware
A common mistake that patients make is cutting pills without first asking their doctor if it’s safe. You could damage a coating on the pill that is there to protect your stomach or make the medicine last longer. When you’re taking liquid medicine, only use the measuring cup that came with it or a syringe. Silverware isn’t accurate to measure dosage.
If a prescription caused you serious harm, you could file a medical malpractice claim to pursue compensation. You should consult with a lawyer before taking action because you will need to be able to prove medical malpractice occurred.
Thoroughly discussing your prescription with your doctor reduces the likelihood of a medication error. It also gives you more confidence and reassurance in what you’re taking. If you followed the doctor’s orders exactly and were harmed, they might be responsible for medical malpractice.