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How can you prevent medication errors?

In our last post for 2014, we discussed how you have the right to seek compensation when prescription errors cause you harm. These errors can lead to serious issues down the road, so it is imperative for all of our Washington, District of Columbia, readers to know how to cut their risk of suffering harm from medication errors.

What should I know about my medications?

You should always understand the ingredients in the medications you take. If you are taking prescription medications, the pharmacist or your doctor should discuss this with you. Over-the-counter medications have this information printed on them. If you need to take more than one medication, ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to take them both. You should also make sure you fully understand the dosing instructions as well.

What is medication reconciliation?

Medication reconciliation occurs when you go through the medications you have been taking and the ones you are prescribed. This is done with your doctor. You should go through your medications to determine if you have the correct dosages, if any medications are missing and if there are any duplications or potential interactions. This gives your doctor a chance to scrutinize all medications you are taking, so bring every prescription you have even if it was written by another doctor. You should also bring information about any herbal medications or OTC medications you are taking.

As a patient, it is important for you to be informed about your medications. You aren't expected to have full knowledge about those medications. If you have trusted your doctor and pharmacist and ended up suffering from a medication error, you have the right to seek compensation for any injuries you suffered.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Medication errors: Cut your risk with these tips" Jan. 05, 2015

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