What mistakes lead to prescription errors?
Prescription errors occur all the time despite various measures to prevent them. Some actions during the process from prescribing to the medication ending up in your hand can lead to mistakes.
An error could mean you end up with the wrong medication or wrong instructions for taking the right medication. In any case, a mistake could have serious health consequences. The Pharmaceutical Journal explains prescription errors are preventable, so understanding what causes them can help to negate them.
Wrong directions or dosage
Whether your doctor prescribes the wrong dose or something gets messed up at the pharmacy, getting the incorrect directions or dosage of a medication can cause harm. If you take too much medication, it could lead to an overdose. Too little could mean you do not get the benefits of the medication. Not having the right instructions may only cause slight discomfort. For example, if you should take a medication with food to avoid stomach upset, but those instructions are not given to you, then you may end up with an upset stomach.
If you do not tell your doctor about other medications you are taking or your doctor fails to realize you are taking other medications, it could lead to an interaction that causes trouble. Some medication interactions are mild but they can be severe in some cases.
Sometimes, allergic reactions are unpreventable because you have not had the reaction before, but if you know of allergies to medications, it is essential to alert your doctor and pharmacy. Letting both places know should help to prevent issues with one of them missing the allergy. If not caught, you could suffer a reaction with minor to severe symptoms.
Prescription errors can happen to anyone. Staying alert and aware of your medication details can help you to stop medical professionals from making such mistakes.