Taking an incorrect dosage or the wrong prescription medication is not only dangerous, it can be lethal. Although your physician and pharmacist may provide exemplary care, prescription drug errors do happen from time to time. The best way to protect yourself from these kinds of errors is by taking a proactive approach to your healthcare.
How to Avoid a Prescription Drug Error
There are five things you can do to avoid taking a dangerous combination or dosage of prescription drugs:
- Keep a List: Make a list of your current medications and dosages. Always keep your list updated whenever there’s a change. All of your regular non-prescription medications and supplements should be on this list, too.
- Understand Your Prescriptions: When you receive a new prescription to be filled at the pharmacy, make sure you understand it before you leave the doctor’s office. Understand the reason for the medication, the dosage, potential side effects, contraindications and instructions on how to take it.
- Cross-Check with Your Pharmacist: When you pick up a new prescription, ask the pharmacist to explain the dosage instructions, possible side effects and contraindications. Make sure the information from your doctor and pharmacist match.
- Keep Everyone Informed of Your Allergies: Any time you receive a new prescription, remind your doctor and pharmacist of any allergies you have to certain kinds of medications. By mentioning your allergies to both of them, you are giving yourself two chances to avoid taking a drug that will cause an allergic reaction.
- Talk to Your Doctor about OTC Drugs: Before you start taking any new non-prescription drug or supplement (both nutritional and herbal), clear it with your doctor first. Even though these OTC medications and supplements don’t require a prescription, they could still cause adverse reactions or interfere with other medications you currently take.
Organizing Your Medications at Home
Another way to avoid a needless medication error is by maintaining a tight organizational system at home. This is especially important if you take several prescription drugs each day. Different types of systems work for different people, so find the one that works best for you and stick to it.
For example, some people prefer to put all of their medications in a pill organizer that divides the pills by the day of the week and the time of day. Others prefer to keep all of their medications in the original bottles and use a checklist to record each dose that is taken.
There are a number of ways to remind yourself to take your medication at the correct time and at the proper dosage level. If you often forget whether you’ve taken your pills, ask your doctor or pharmacist for recommendations that will help you to remember.
If you are the victim of a dangerous prescription drug error that should have been prevented, contact the attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe today. Our attorneys are here to advocate for you and protect your legal rights. Call today or fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you to set up a free consultation.