When most people think about medical mistakes, a doctor’s negligence comes to mind. Although doctors do contribute to a large number of medical errors, pharmaceutical mistakes happen nearly as often. In fact, medication errors occur one million times per year and cause 7,000 deaths annually.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a pharmacist’s mistake, it’s important to speak to a Jacksonville medication error lawyer as soon as possible.
Important Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist
As a society, we are brought up to trust doctors and health care professionals. The majority of physicians and pharmacists are dedicated, hard-working individuals who care deeply about the quality of the care they provide.
At the same time, doctors and pharmacists are human beings. They get sick and fatigued just like anyone else. Personal stress and problems at home can draw their attention away from their work, which can result in disastrous errors.
As a consumer and a patient, there are several things you can do to take control of your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, being proactive about your prescriptions is just one way to make sure you are receiving safe care.
Here are eight important questions to ask your pharmacist when you pick up your prescriptions.
1. What is the brand name or generic name of this drug?
Prescription medications can have very similar names. Couple this with the fact that many physicians have poor penmanship, and it’s easy to see how a pharmacist could accidentally dispense the wrong drug.
2. What should I expect while taking this medication?
Certain medications have strong side effects that alter the way you feel. For example, a drug might make you feel drowsy or nauseated. Another medication might leave you feeling jumpy. If you know what to expect, you can make sure you’re not experiencing something unusual that could indicate a bad reaction to a drug.
3. What dosage should I take?
When it comes to prescription medication, a single misplaced decimal point can cause a catastrophic overdose. Carefully check the labels on your prescription bottles and make sure they match what your doctor prescribed.
Learn Why Even: Small medical errors can turn into huge malpractice claims
4. Should I avoid any certain foods or drinks while taking this drug?
Most prescription bottles and packing include warnings and instructions for how to take medication and what, if anything, to avoid when you take it. However, it’s always a good idea to check these warnings against your pharmacist’s instructions.
5. How long should I take this medication?
Pharmaceutical errors can occur at any point in the chain of distribution, from your doctor’s prescription pad to your pharmacy’s dispensing window.
In most cases, your doctor will tell you how long you should take a prescription medication. By comparing these instructions against what your pharmacist tells you, you are doing your own checks and balances for possible mistakes.
6. What actions should I take if I miss a dose?
For certain health conditions, as well as certain medications, missing a dose is quite problematic. For other drugs, it’s a minor issue. Make sure you know what to do if you accidentally forget to take your medication.
7. What should I do if I take more than the recommended dose?
Everyone is forgetful sometimes. In some cases, a hectic schedule or a memory lapse can make you forget to take your medicine completely.
In other situations, you forget you have already taken a dose and end up taking an extra one. Ask your pharmacist what you should do if this sort of oversight happens.
8. Does this medication have any known drug or food interactions?
Drug interactions are more common than you might realize. They are especially problematic for people over age 50 – a demographic that tends to take more prescription drugs compared to younger people.
For example, warfarin – a blood thinner – can cause fatal bleeding when combined with aspirin, which is an over-the-counter drug and a staple in most people’s medicine cabinets.
When you combine these two medications with leafy, green vegetables like cabbage or broccoli, your risk of uncontrollable bleeding is even higher.
Read More About: Why prescription drug errors happen
Contact a Jacksonville Medication Error Lawyer about Your Claim
Medication mistakes can cause serious injuries. In the most devastating cases, a pharmacist’s error costs someone their life. If you believe you have been hurt by a prescription drug mistake, contact a Jacksonville medication error lawyer about your case.