Prescription medications save lives every day, but they also can be extremely dangerous when prescribed or administered incorrectly. Pharmaceutical errors are a form of medical malpractice that occurs frequently and that can have tragic results.
If you’ve suffered an injury or other harm due to an error with prescription medications, you may be entitled to reparation for your medical bills, lost wages and other financial damage. You may also receive compensation for your pain and suffering. By working with a pharmaceutical errors lawyer, you have the best opportunity for recovering the compensation you should rightfully receive.
What Constitutes a Pharmaceutical Error?
Because prescription medications are so prevalent, many types of errors related to these drugs can occur. One of the most common forms of pharmaceutical error is the wrong drug being administered to a patient.
Ingesting the wrong drug can pose extreme dangers, up to and including disability and death. In addition, being deprived of the intended medication also can have extremely negative health consequences.
What are the most common types of medication errors?
Improper drug administration can occur in a hospital or other health-care setting. Doctors, nurses, and medication technicians all can make mistakes when giving a drug directly to a patient. They may give the patient the wrong drug, which can cause great harm.
The correct drug may be prescribed and administered, but the wrong dosage may be given due to an error anywhere in the chain of responsibility for medications. Taking the wrong dosage can result in adverse effects from the medication itself or from the patient’s underlying medical condition as the patient is deprived of the necessary dose of medicine.
A medication also might be administered in the wrong way. For example, a medication administered by injection may have been been given in the wrong location on the patient’s body.
Patients also can be prescribed the wrong drug by a physician or given the wrong drug by a pharmacy at the time a prescription is filled or refilled.
In some cases, patients are prescribed medications to which they’re allergic, causing severe health consequences. Patients also may receive a drug that interacts with other medications the patient is taking. A doctor or pharmacist also may fail to warn a patient about side effects of a medication, resulting in adverse consequences.
Anyone who is responsible for prescribing medications can bear liability for prescription errors. Hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and drug manufacturers are among the parties that may have liability when a drug is incorrectly prescribed.
Allergies and Interactions
In some cases, patients may be harmed by a medication because they are allergic to it or it interacts negatively with other medications they take.
Pharmacists usually are responsible for knowing a patient’s medication allergies and ensuring that no harmful medicines are prescribed. Your doctor also should have information about your drug allergies as part of your medical record.
Medications can be prescribed and administered correctly. However, mislabeling of the product can put patients in grave danger.
A medication can be mislabeled in the manufacturing facility or at a pharmacy. In either case, an incorrect label may result in a patient receiving the wrong medication or the wrong dose
Failure to Advise Patients Correctly
The doctor who prescribes a medication to you or the pharmacist who fills the prescription should advise you of any potentially negative side effects. Failure to provide such warning can leave the medical professional open to liability should you suffer harm.
Many medications can interact with common foods and drinks, such as grapefruit juice. In addition, some medications can have rare but serious side effects that require medical attention.
Have you been harmed because of an error with one of your prescription medications? If you believe that a medical provider has acted negligently in prescribing or administering a medication to you, it’s important to work with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer for financial relief.