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What Happens When a Pharmacy Makes a Mistake?

What’s the big deal with medical errors? Here’s what you need to know.

Picture this: you visit your family doctor for a routine medical exam. Your physician prescribes you a medication, so you head to your local pharmacy to pick up the medication. After you get your pills, you go home and prepare to take them for the first time, but there’s a problem: they look differently than you thought they would. In fact, you’re pretty sure you were given the wrong medication. What should you do? And what happens if you take the medication? Each year, patients across the country are given the wrong prescriptions. In fact, medical mistakes and errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Medication errors aren’t just annoying: they can be deadly. Here’s what you need to know.

First off, you should never take a medication if you suspect you received the incorrect type of drug or the incorrect dosage. Always double check the name on the package with what your doctor told you they were prescribing. Additionally, you should make sure that the drug you received looks the way the packaging describes it. Never take a medication you receive “just in case” it’s actually correct. Anytime you believe a medication could be wrong, call the pharmacy or your personal physician to make sure you received the right drug. If you are a patient who has been admitted to a hospital and you’re nervous about receiving the wrong medication, you can always check with your nurse. Ask them to double-check your chart to ensure you’re receiving the right medication in the correct dosage.

If you have a severe reaction to a medication, seek medical help as soon as possible. Never try to “tough it out” if you receive the wrong medication. Your doctor should carefully prescribe you medication that will help – not hurt – you. One of the biggest dangers of receiving the wrong medication is that you can have a severe reaction. Medication should be carefully dispensed by your pharmacist and painstakingly selected by your physician. If you receive the wrong medication, it could interact with drugs you’re already taking and, in some cases, can cause a severe negative reaction. Headaches, chills, and nausea are all possible side effects from taking the incorrect medication; however, more severe reactions are possible.

Understand that serious long-term side effects are also a possible consequence of receiving the wrong medication, including permanent disability or nerve damage. If you believe that your pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication to you or that your doctor prescribed you something you have a known allergy to, it’s vital that you seek the assistance and care of a medical malpractice attorney who can help you evaluate your options for moving forward. Your attorney understands that medical issues can be very sensitive, so rest assured that you will be treated with care and respect as you seek compensation for your injuries.

Don’t wait to call an attorney. Reach out today to find out what your options are. Your lawyer wants to help you move forward from this issue, so call now.