Medication mistakes are more common than most people realize. While some who are given the wrong medicine do not suffer severe complications, over 1.5 million Americans get sick from taking the wrong drug and 100,000 die due to drug errors. MSN Health complied a list of the ten most common drug mistakes. Over the next few weeks I will go over each mistake and what you can do to protect yourself.
Medicine mix-ups can occur when a prescription is hard to read, someone enters the wrong information in on the computer, the pharmacist takes the bulk medication off the shelf to dispense them, or at any other point in the prescription process. But when a patient receives the wrong medication, he can get very sick.
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Many medications have similar sounding names. Adderall and Inderal sound similar, but one treats ADHD and the other high-blood pressure. A patient may not realize the pharmacist made a mistake when he picks up his prescription since the drugs sound so similar. Pharmacies often store medications in alphabetical order. It is fairly easy to confuse Paxil, an anti-depressent, with Plavix, an anti-clotting medication. But the drugs are very different and if a patient is given the wrong one, the results could cause permanent injury.
Experts suggest that when your doctor gives you a new prescription, you should have him or her write down what the prescription is meant to treat, as well as the drug name and dosage. This adds extra information that may prevent you from getting the wrong drug from a pharmacist.