It’s easy to believe that your pharmacist will do everything by the books, but this line of thinking could have a negative effect on your health and well-being.
Prescription drug errors come in many forms, including the following:
- Filling the wrong prescription: You think you’re taking the drug prescribed by your doctor, but in all actuality you’re not. Your pharmacist put the wrong medication in your bottle, leading you to take a drug you don’t need while missing out on the one that’s required to treat your condition.
- Dosage errors: It’s important that you take the right dose of the prescribed medication. Should your pharmacist fill the right medication but the wrong dose, it can have far-reaching implications on your health.
- Drug interaction: Both your doctor and your pharmacist should check for potential drug interactions, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. Not all drugs can be taken together, and if a mistake occurs it can lead to serious side effects and even death.
- Neglecting to share information on potential side effects: This starts with your doctor, but your pharmacist should also check for side effects and make them clear to you. Some drugs are effective, but also known to cause dangerous and/or unpleasant side effects. If your pharmacist neglects to do so, you could end up taking a medication that you otherwise would have avoided.
What needs to be discussed?
One of the best ways to avoid pharmacy errors is to have a conversation with your pharmacist before taking a new medication. Ask them questions such as:
- Does this drug have any known interactions?
- What are the most common side effects? What are the most severe side effects?
- Is the dosage appropriate for someone in my condition?
- Are there any alternative drugs?
- Is this a generic or brand name medication?
These are the types of pharmacy errors that you need to protect against. Should you neglect to do so, you’re putting all your trust in your medical team and pharmacist.
If you’re the victim of medical malpractice as it relates to a pharmacy error, consult with your doctor about your treatment options and then learn more about your legal rights.