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Common medication errors that can have devastating effects

These days, it seems as though there is a medication for almost any ailment. This is why it is not all that uncommon for patients to leave the doctor or hospital with a prescription in hand.

However, the very medication you may be taking to feel better could ultimately do the opposite if there is a mistake made in the manufacturing, prescribing or filling of a medication. In this post we will look at some of the common medication mistakes that are made and what patients can do if they suffer damages as a result of these errors.

Drugs can present a problem to patients if they are made or sold improperly. Drug manufacturers can make mistakes when they are making the drug. Further, even if the drug is approved for certain uses and is made properly, it can still lead to errors if the proper warnings are not included with the drug.

Doctors can also make mistakes when they are prescribing medication. They can get brand names confused, fail to consider potentially harmful drug interactions or use problematic abbreviations that can lead to errors in the administering of the drug.

Even if the drug is made and prescribed properly, there is room for error at the pharmacy where the prescription is being filled. In some cases, pharmacists fill the prescription for the wrong patient or translate the doctor's writing or instructions incorrectly. It is also possible for a pharmacist to make a mistake in answering a patient's question about the drug.

If you have suffered complications, injuries or illnesses because of a medication error that was made at any of these points, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against a negligent or reckless party. These types of mistakes, which can usually be prevented, can cause serious damage so victims should remember they have the right to discuss potential legal action with an attorney.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "Medication Errors," accessed on Sept. 14, 2015

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