Medication errors are very common, and can be extremely dangerous or even deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly 82 percent of adults take at least one medication, and 29 percent take five or more. Even non-prescription drugs can cause adverse effects. Roughly 700,000 people visit an emergency room each year because of an adverse drug event.
Experts say that some of the most common medication errors include using the wrong spoon to measure dosage, taking over-the-counter drugs that contain acetaminophen when already taking a medication that contains acetaminophen, missing a dose or doubling a dose, cutting pills that should be taken whole, chewing non-chewables, and taking prescription medications that contain the same ingredient. Although some of these mistakes can be relatively harmless, some can have serious consequences. For example, taking too much acetaminophen can increase the risk of liver damage.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the primary reasons that medication mix-ups occur is poor communication between doctors and pharmacists and their patients. Some medications can have similar-sounding names or may look similar, leading to confusion.
In order to avoid medication errors, you should always ask when and how to take the medication, as well as if there are any side effects. Let your doctor or pharmacist know all the medications you are currently on when being prescribed or picking up a new drug. Keep a list of your medications, and organize them. Finally, use the same pharmacy for all of your medications.
In some cases, the drug manufacturers, pharmacists, or doctors may commit an error that can lead to an adverse drug event. In that situation, the person who is harmed may have a cause of action against the responsible party. Call the personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707, or visit us on Twitter to learn more about your options.