4 Tips for Preventing Medication Errors

Patients put their trust in medical professionals, day in and day out. They trust that their medications are properly prescribed for their needs. Far too often, however, a patient will suffer an adverse reaction to prescribed medications. While these errors should be caught early on, it helps for a patient to double check what they’re taking. Below are four tips for avoiding medication errors:

Check the Medication Received

Pharmacists deal with a wide variety of drugs for many patients. Somewhere along the line, a mix-up can occur. When receiving a prescription, one should take care to read the label to make sure the drug that has been prescribed is correct. Moreover, the dosage should match what the doctor prescribed. If either of these are incorrect or differ from the doctor’s prescription, one should alert the pharmacist immediately.

Verify the Medication

Prescription medications have more than just the name and dosage of a drug on the label. The label will often describe the color of the pills, as well as the shape and any engravings present. It is not uncommon for a prescription to be labeled correctly, but contain the wrong pills. Verifying the pills against their stated description can help prevent a medication error. Also, if the prescription is a refill of a medication you have been taking, make sure the pills look the same as your prior pills.

Avoid Splitting Pills

There are many common mistakes when it comes to taking medication. Among them is the cutting of pills. While cutting pills is a common practice, it should only be done with medications that can be cut. One should always double-check if the pill can be cut. If it is too difficult to swallow without cutting, one should ask for smaller alternatives if available.

Stay Organized

Organization can mean the difference between being safe and a potentially fatal reaction. One should always keep their prescriptions to date, safely discarding expired medication. Patients should always have a list of their current medications in their wallet and at home.

Despite all best efforts, medication errors happen everyday. When these mistakes happen, the injuries can be dangerous and in some cases, fatal. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a medication error, contact Richards & Richards, LLP today by calling 412-261-2620 or contact them online to schedule your case consultation.

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