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Common Medication Mistakes and How to Avoid them

Submitted by jrlaw on Dec 18th, 2009

Caring.com recently published an article stating that an estimated 1.5 million people annually are harmed by their medications, and approximately 100,000 of these people die from the harm that the drugs cause.

These unnecessary deaths are caused by a list of 10 common but preventable errors which include:
  1. Confusing similarly named drugs
  2. Combining other prescription or over-the-counter drugs without knowing adverse side effects of drug interactions
  3. Accidental overdoses that occur when multiple drugs have similar active ingredients
  4. Taking a brand-name drug and generic drug
  5. Taking an improper dose of your drug
  6. Using wrong dosage for age
  7. Mixing alcohol with medication
  8. Eating improper foods while taking medicine
  9. Not adjusting dosage if only one kidney, or not all organs are at full capacity
  10. Taking more than one drug that magnifies side effects
Medication mistakes are avoidable and preventable, and you should ensure that you practice care with your medications in order to protect yourself. In fact, the FDA lists tips to follow to avoid medication mistakes:
    • Find out the names of the drugs you are taking.
    • Ask your doctor questions.
    • Understanding what the drug is used for.
    • Follow instructions on the label.
    • Tell all your healthcare providers about anything you are taking.
    • Take a list of all your medications with you and share with your family.
Your doctor has a responsibility to ensure that the drugs he prescribes to you won’t harm you or cause you to suffer injury. If your doctor fails to act with due diligence in prescribing medication or giving you prescription advice, this may be medical malpractice and you need to contact a lawyer who can help you fight for your rights. We deal with medical malpractice cases and will use our knowledge and background to determine if your doctor acted improperly. Just take a minute to fill in our form and we will review your case free of charge.