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Steps that may help you prevent prescription drug errors

If you have injuries or a serious health issue, a physician or other medical professional may determine you can benefit from drug therapy. The right medications can ease your condition. However, if prescribed incorrectly, they can do more harm than good, and the Pennsylvania prescriber or pharmacist may be liable.

According to the Mayo Clinic, medication errors often lead to preventable adverse drug events. While this often happens with over-the-counter products, it can also involve prescription drugs.

How medication errors occur

Choosing the correct drug therapy is a complex process for medical professionals. Errors can happen at any point throughout the process, from determining which drug meets your needs to filling it at the pharmacy. Common issues that result in prescription drug errors include the following:

  • Wrong or miscalculated dosage
  • Poor drug distribution practices
  • Incorrect diagnosis
  • Incorrect drug administration
  • Problems related to drug devices

Make sure your physician has a list of any medications you currently take, those you have taken in the past and any issues they may have caused.

Tips to prevent medication errors

Ask the doctor about the medication’s purpose, potential side effects and interactions. Communication is an essential step in the safety and effectiveness of any drug regimen. If you don’t understand the doctor’s instructions or anything about the prescription, make sure you ask for clarification. Discuss the details with your doctor and determine what happens if you miss a dose or accidentally take an additional amount. Are there side effects you should anticipate or known interactions with other drugs or supplements? If the medication causes harm, it’s essential that understand your rights as a patient.