The Smart Patient’s Guide to Preventing Medication Errors

Pill BoxMedication errors occur more often than you think, and many of these occur when you are in the safety and security of your own home.

Many of those errors occur because of miscommunication or lack of communication between doctors and patients. If you have not been adequately and correctly informed about dosage instructions and other specifics about the medication you are taking, you are much more likely to make errors. These errors could be serious, or even fatal.

Be smart and informed. Educating yourself is the first step to preventing injuries from medication errors. If you have been prescribed a medication, know what the medication is for. Ask the doctor the brand name of the medication as well as its generic name. Many doctors will expect or encourage such questions, but if your doctor seems brusque and uninterested in answering your questions, you may need to consider changing your doctor.

Ask your doctor how long it will be before the medication starts showing the expected results.

Many medication errors involve drug-to-drug or drug-food interactions. If there are specific instructions for the consumption of food or alcohol associated with the medication you have been prescribed, the doctor should inform you of these. Also ask him about all of the other medications that you are on, so that he can reduce or minimize the risk of any reactions with other medications, alcohol or food.

Ask your doctor if there are any side effects or complications associated with your medication. If the side effect is something like drowsiness, you should be aware of it, so that you can avoid risky activities like driving or operating heavy machinery when you’re on the medication. If the doctor fails to inform you of these medications, you could be at serious risk of an injury.

For help filing a medical malpractice claim after suffering injuries as a result of a medication error, speak to an Indiana medical malpractice attorney at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy.