There are a shocking number of medical mistakes that take place every year,
and some of the most common are when prescriptions are given to the wrong
patient, given in the wrong dose or are filled with the wrong drug. Mistakes
like this leave around 1.5 million people injured or suffering from severe
injuries every year. Around 100,000 people die from taking the wrong medication.

One of the most common issues is filling a prescription with the wrong
medication. Many medications have similar names, making it easy to confuse
them. For instance, Zoloft, with its generic sertraline, might get confused
with cetirizine by a patient requesting a refill or by a doctor working
on medications for patients with both allergies and anxiety disorders.
Zyrtec, which is for allergies, Zantac, for upset stomachs, or Zoloft
could be confused with one another as well.

It’s been reported by the National Medication Error Reporting Program
that confusion caused by similar names has resulted in around 25 percent
of all reported medication errors. So, how can you avoid this common pitfall?

Talk to your doctor and make sure you know the dosage you should be taking,
the name of the drug and what it looks like. Know exactly what the drug
is for and be able to describe it to the pharmacist if necessary. You
should talk to the pharmacist and go through all of the steps for taking
the medications to confirm that they are correct. If you’re not
sure if you received the correct medication, ask the pharmacist to contact
your doctor or to compare the doctor’s prescription to the drug
that has been filled. If you do this and still take the wrong medication
and suffer an injury, you may be entitled to compensation.