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How to Minimize Your Chances of a Pharmacy or Medication Error

Patients who take medication may be at risk for pharmacy or medication errors. Unfortunately, even the most careful of medical professionals can make mistakes. Find out exactly what you need to know about minimizing your chances of experiencing such an error.

Dealing with medical issues can be overwhelming and frustrating. Both chronic and acute illnesses can run a toll on the patient’s emotional and physical wellbeing; however, patients have another issue they need to be concerned about: pharmacy errors. A pharmacy or medication error occurs when the dispensing pharmacist or medical technician issues the wrong medication or the wrong amount of medication. This can occur to anyone at anytime, including local pharmacies and even at the hospital. Because pharmacy and medication errors can be incredibly dangerous and even fatal, it’s important for patients to be aware that these errors can occur. If you’re about to pick up a medication from the pharmacy, there are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of experiencing a medication error.

Ask About the Medication

One of the most important things any patient can do when they’re receiving a medication is to ask questions. Whether this is a medication you’re picking up at the pharmacy or that you’re receiving in the hospital, don’t be ashamed, shy, or embarrassed to ask about it. This is especially important if the person administering the medication is not your usual medical professional. For example, if there is a new nurse who has never treated you, make sure you have her double check your medication name and dosage to ensure you get the right medication.

Remind the Administering Professional About Your Allergies

When you receive medication at the hospital or pharmacy, the administering professional may not check your chart thoroughly. Remind them about any drug allergies you may have. For example, if you are allergic to penicillin and you are receiving a new antibiotic, make sure you ask if the new medication is in the same family as penicillin. This can help reduce the chance of a medical error being made.

Look at the Medication

When you have a prescription filled at the pharmacy, take a look at the pills. Do they look the way they normally do? Are they a different shape, size, or color? Are the markings on the pills different? While pharmacists are typically quite meticulous about filling prescriptions, errors do occur. Make sure you ask questions when you look at the medication. Ask if the medication is a different brand (such as the generic version) or if there has been a mix-up with the medication.

Reach Out to an Attorney

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a medication or prescription error, you have options for moving forward. Never feel like you have to face this issue on your own. The right family practice or medical malpractice lawyer can make an incredible difference when it comes to helping you move on with your life and to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait to reach out and find out what your options are. Call today to find out how the right attorney can help you.