When a doctor prescribes a drug you expect that drug to help, not hurt. Tragically, a prescription drug error is one of the most common medical errors in our country and the consequences can be just about the most devastating and catastrophic. The Institute of Medicine states more that 1.5 million medication errors occur each year. These errors result in $3.5 billion in lost wages and additional medical expenses.
Medical errors can range from a doctor prescribing the wrong medication or a wrong dosage. They can be a pharmacist giving you the wrong drug or the wrong amount. It can even be failure to warn about side effects from a specific drug.
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The most important thing a person can do is speak with a trusted healthcare provider. You might need to stop taking the medication in question. Or seek emergency medical attention for a complication. Or discuss what steps are needed to diagnose and treat the complications you are experiencing. It is also important to speak with an attorney who has substantial experience handling cases involving prescription drug error cases.
If you have been given the wrong drug, that could be the fault of the physician who ordered the medication, the pharmacist who dispensed the drug or the nurse who administered the drug. The same is true when the wrong dose of a drug is given and when a drug is given without appreciating the potential for an adverse reaction to another drug already being taken.
A prescription drug error usually involves prescribing or administering the wrong drug; or the wrong dose; or a drug that interacts with another drug to cause some harm. Drug errors are among the most common medical mistakes that occur in our healthcare system and cause tens of thousands of injuries every year.