Despite advances in the health-care industry, prescription errors still affect thousands of lives every year. These mistakes can have fatal consequences. Patients who are lucky enough to survive often face lifelong medical complications.
Before prescribing a medication, doctors and nurses must evaluate the drugs and supplements that a patient is currently taking to prevent adverse interactions. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical interactions are not the only concern; alcohol and certain foods can react with medications and be fatal.
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Here are nine tips that can help you prevent deadly drug interactions:
1. Communicate with Your Health-Care Providers
It is important that all of your health practitioners have the same information about your medicines. Inform your pharmacist, doctor, specialist, dentist and physiologist of any changes to your drugs.
2. Conduct Research
An online drug checker, such as this one at Drugs.com, will warn of possible interactions. Contact your pharmacist if you have questions about your findings. Include supplements, vitamins and over-the-counter medicines when doing your research.
3. Use One Pharmacy
You should keep all of your scripts at one pharmacy. It will be easier for the pharmacist to check for interactions. He or she will learn your medical history, and you will have a single storage place for all your records.
4. Read the Labels
Some foods can cause drug interactions, such as vitamin K causing clots with blood thinners. Alcohol is dangerous with many prescriptions. Read the labels and follow the food and beverage limitations.
5. Disclose Illicit Drug, Caffeine or Alcohol Use
If you suffer addiction to drugs, alcohol or coffee, it is important to tell your doctor. This information may be important enough to change a prescription and avoid potential side effects.
6. Check Your Name
Confusing patients with the same or similar names is among the most common medicinal mistakes. Check the name and address on all of your medicines to make sure the prescription is yours.
7. Follow Dosage Requirements
Taking the right quantity of medicine is crucial to treatment. If you take too little, you may not notice improvement. Taking too much, however, can cause an overdose.
8. Disclose Illnesses
If a previous medical diagnosis revealed an illness or other health complication, then share this information with the prescribing doctor. This can prevent possible drug-disease interactions.
9. Avoid Online Pharmacies
Online pharmacies may promise affordability and convenience, but they are risky. Foreign drugs or unreliable websites can result in receiving expired drugs, incorrect medicines, wrong dosages and more.
If your health woes are because of a mistake with your prescription medication, then contact the Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a New Orleans pharmacy error lawyer who can represent your interests. The Bowling Law Firm is AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.