No matter how proficient your healthcare providers are, medication errors are always possible. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), these mistakes cause between 7,000 and 9,000 deaths each year in the U.S.
The number of drugs, lotions, supplements and herbs on the market make distribution more complicated than it used to be, which could make errors more likely. Here are some issues you should be wary of.
When your doctor prescribes medication to you, you should understand why you are taking it and what it does. It is important to ask questions if anything in the discharge instructions is confusing, or if you hear from another source that there could be dangerous side effects. You should also always remind your doctor about other medications you might be taking in case they do not combine well; this is especially important if you have different doctors who have prescribed different medications.
The NCBI reported that about 50% of medication errors come from ordering issues. A simple miscommunication between your doctor and your pharmacy can lead to disastrous consequences. If your medication is ever in a different package than normal, or if a dosage changes without anyone alerting you, you should check with your doctor to make sure that everything is correct.
It is good to have faith in your healthcare providers, but it is also good to keep them in check. Most medication errors are preventable if you know what to look out for. By taking the right precautions, you may protect your health and wellbeing.