Medication Errors Result in Thousands of Injuries and Deaths
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.