If you are taking medication, you should be mindful of pharmaceutical errors. These errors can range from taking the wrong drug to taking the wrong dose.
While it is good to talk to a medical professional about the medications you use, even professionals make mistakes. According to the National Library of Medicine, medication errors kill 7,000 to 9,000 people in the United States each year.
How errors happen
There are many ways that your doctor or pharmacist could make a mistake with your medication. You could end up with the wrong drug due to a misdiagnosis, illegible script or sound-alike name. Someone could also give you a dose that is too low or too high for your needs.
How you can prevent errors
Whenever you get medication, you should be proactive in making sure that everything is right. Always ask questions when your doctor discusses medications with you, especially if you notice a contradiction or have a concern. Ask about how different drugs could interact with each other, and what exactly each drug’s purpose is.
Who you can report the errors to
You can report medication errors to organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Institute of Safe Medication Practices. These organizations can then send out case reports to help keep healthcare professionals on their toes. The FDA even sometimes works with pharmacists to point out risks involving packaging and labeling.
Medication errors are more common than you might think, so it is important to look out for them. One mishap could lead to devastating consequences, but you can mitigate the risks by staying alert.