Top 10 Medication Errors – Medications with Similar Components Cause Accidental Overdose

One of the top 10 drug errors is accidental overdoses by taking drugs with similar components. Many medications have similar properties, even though they are used to treat different things. This creates a serious risk of injury when it comes to taking prescription medications.

Although doctors should understand how drugs work together and whether a certain combination is safe for a patient, they sometimes make mistakes, fail to put in the proper orders for your prescriptions, or forget to cross-check whether the combination of drugs is safe.

Deadly Drug Combination Mistakes

Narcotic painkillers like Vicodin, medications like Paxil used to treat anxiety and depression, and sleeping pills like Ambien all have sedative properties. If taken together, these drugs can have a toxic, deadly effect.

Those diagnosed with anxiety and depression may also have insomnia and could be prescribed multiple drugs with similar effects.

How Accidental Overdoses Happen

Healthcare professionals might not double-check the prescriptions you take to make sure they are safe in combination with one another. Combined drug intoxication can occur in patients who follow the instructions their doctors have given them.

The dangers of medications with similar components causing accidental overdoses are not limited to prescription drugs. Over-the-counter medications can also have similar properties. In particular, many over-the-counter drugs for colds contain combinations of various ingredients to treat different symptoms.

If a person has a cold and takes DayQuil and Tylenol at the same time, they would likely overdose on an active ingredient in both, which is acetaminophen. Other over-the-counter medications have sedative properties that can prove dangerous if taken in conjunction with certain prescription medications.

Protect Yourself Against Accidental Overdoses

There are three important things you can do to protect against this kind of medication mistake:

Keep Your Doctor Informed

Ensure that every doctor you see has an updated list of both the prescriptions and over-the-counter medications that you take, even if you do not use them regularly.

Read the Labels

Drugs often come with labels that warn about how you should take them and what other drugs to avoid while taking them. Taking more than one drug that cautions against driving or warns you that you may become drowsy can be dangerous. You might also need to avoid drinking alcohol, as it can make the problem worse.

Ask Questions

If a healthcare professional prescribes a new medication or suggests taking an over-the-counter medication, do not be afraid to ask them or a pharmacist about potential issues with taking the new drugs. It is better to take the time and get the information you need than to risk an accidental overdose.

Hold a Careless Healthcare Professional Responsible for Your Injuries

Finding out that your doctor did not ensure the combination of drugs you are taking is safe can also lead to major expenses and inconveniences in your life. If you are facing this, you may be eligible to receive compensation from the healthcare providers who are responsible through a medical malpractice lawsuit.A settlement can help you get back on your feet and deal with any ongoing financial impacts of the medication error.

Compensation In Medical Malpractice Cases

Some of the expenses that you may be able to recover in a lawsuit or through a settlement include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Ongoing medical care costs
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

If you tragically lost a loved one because of a medication error, you may be able to bring a wrongful death action to recover compensation for your loss.

What Our Firm Can Do If You’ve Experienced a Medication Error

Our firm handles cases involving medication errors, including drugs with similar components that could cause an accidental overdose. While you focus on recovery, we will make sure you are treated fairly and that you are fully aware of the legal options available to you.

Other ways we can support you through this situation include:

  • Making sure that you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations
  • Investigating your situation to determine how the medication error that harmed you happened
  • Identifying who is responsible for the medication error and your expenses
  • Answering your questions about the legal process and preparing you to go to court if necessary
  • Keeping you informed about your case

Call Distasio Law Firm for a Free Consultation Now

If you are ready to learn more about pursuing compensation after a medication error involving an accidental overdose, contact Distasio Law Firm. A free consultation is waiting. Dial (813) 259-0022 now.


Our main office is here in Downtown Tampa, Florida in the Channelside neighborhood. Office in Wesley Chapel and Largo are available by appointment only.

Distasio Law Firm