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How to Avoid Deadly Pharmacy Dispensing Errors

April 27th, 2018
By Zach Christiansen of The Bowling Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Medical Malpractice on Friday, April 27, 2018.

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. Prescription drug errors, if not caught, can be deadly. Patients who are prescribed the wrong drug or the wrong dose can develop worsening medical conditions, can suffer complications, injury, and, in some cases, death. Drug dispensing errors can happen at the pharmacy or at the hospital, but wherever they happen, their consequences can be severe–and costly for patients and their families.


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When a patient is sick, they may not always double check that a prescription is the right dose or the right drug. After all, if a patient is prescribed a new drug, they may trust their pharmacist to dispense the drug properly. However, when patients don’t review their prescriptions, errors can occur. So, what can you do to protect your family and yourself from deadly pharmacy dispensing errors?

Talk to your pharmacist about any new drug you are prescribed. According to ABC 10 News, take the time to talk to your pharmacist about the drug. Ask about possible interactions with other medications. Doctors may not always take the time to check a patient’s other medications. Your pharmacist may have a better knowledge of the medicines you take. However, you can’t always trust your doctor or pharmacist to catch potential interactions. Ask questions. Consider what foods could create interactions with the medicine as well.

Ask your doctor to put the drug’s purpose on the prescription. The name of drugs can get confused. According to the , drugs with similar names could be easily switched by a pharmacist trying to fill a quick prescription. However, if the intended use is put on the prescription, these simple errors might be more easily avoided. Even so, you can also help prevent an error by knowing the exact name and spelling of the drug you should be taking. Drugs like Zantax and Zyrtex are close in spelling, as are Celebrex and Celexa.

Ask about dose. Dosage errors can also be deadly. The FDA reports cases where patients were accidentally given a whole week’s supply in one day. Know what dose you should be taking and double check your prescription when it is filled.

Keep a list of all medications, supplements, and other substances you take. This can help you with your discussion with doctors and pharmacists and help you avoid potential interactions.

A pharmacy error can have immense medical and financial consequences. Individuals may require additional medical care, may have to miss time from work, or may suffer complications. If you were a victim of a pharmacy error, consider reaching out to the prescription drug error lawyers at the The Bowling Law Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana who may be able to help. Differentiating between a patient’s medical condition and the impact of an incorrectly prescribed drug can sometimes be challenging, especially if a patient is ill. However, the The Bowling Law Firm will take the time to understand your medical history, review your case, and offer you and your family an honest assessment of the next steps forward.

The Bowling Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation

1615 Poydras Street, Suite 1050

New Orleans, Louisiana, 70112

Phone: (504) 586-5200

Toll Free: (504) 586-5200

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