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Medication errors to avoid

While prescribed medications are typically used to improve an individual’s symptoms related to a health condition, errors can occur because of incorrect use of such drugs. In some cases, Ohio residents might not be aware of damages caused by such errors until years later. In other cases, serious consequences can take effect immediately.

One of the most important ways to minimize the risk of self-inflicted medication error is to review the information provided when a prescription is filled. The document often addresses the side effects, ideal timing and food to avoid when taking the drug. Dosing information is also important. With liquid medications, precise measuring is crucial for proper dosing, which means that a patient should use the measuring implement provided by the pharmacy. Pill splitting can be helpful, but a patient needs to verify that this is appropriate for a given medication. Some medications, including extended release pain drugs, could be quite harmful if split.

Some errors occur because of misunderstandings. For example, a patient might mistakenly request an antibiotic for a viral infection, such as the flu. Conversely, a provider could mistakenly refuse antibiotic therapy because of a suspected viral infection. If a serious condition such as bacterial pneumonia has been brushed off as a virus, a patient’s health could decline rapidly because of a lack of proper medications and medical care.

An individual facing a serious or even life-threatening condition because of a medication error might consider pursuing a medical malpractice claim based on clinical errors made by physicians or other providers. Medical reports could help to substantiate the timing of visits to a clinic, the symptoms described, and the steps taken by a provider to identify the root of the problem.