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Medication interactions can have life-altering consequences

Apr 5, 2017 | Medication Errors

You rely on the nurses, doctors and pharmacists that handle your medical care to make the right choices. Depending on your age, background and health, you may already take one or more prescription medications, as well as supplements and herbal medicines. Most of the time, these drugs can be taken at the same time without any issue.

In some cases, however, drugs can have powerful effects on the human body when they are combined. Sometimes this interaction is synergistic, meaning the drugs strengthen each other’s effects. Sometimes, one drug stops another from working properly.

Regardless of the chemical interaction of the particular drugs, your medical professionals should not be prescribing medications that interact with your current prescriptions. Your doctor should be aware of the most dangerous drug interactions, as should your pharmacist. Unfortunately, sometimes no one catches an interaction until a patient suffers the consequences.

There are many reasons for medication errors

Doctors in general practice offices are often pressured to see three or more patients per hour. This results in doctors only briefly scanning medical records before appointments. It is all too easy for a physician to miss a note about a prescription in your medical history and prescribe a medication that interacts with it.

When that happens, unless the pharmacist or their software notice the error, you could experience severe side effects from the drug interaction. Many different drugs and even supplements can interact with one another, and your medical professionals should catch these issues before you receive medication.

In addition to overworked physicians, insurance issues or pharmacy hours can contribute to medication interactions. Perhaps your insurance will only allow you to fill this prescription via the mail. Maybe, because of timing, you have to have the new prescription filled at a pharmacy that you don’t usually patronize. In these situations, the pharmacist filling the prescription may not catch the potential for a dangerous medication interaction while filling your prescription for you. This can have serious, even fatal consequences for the patient. That’s why speaking with an attorney after an interaction is important.

An attorney can help protect you and prevent future issues

Working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney is the best way to ensure your malpractice claim for a drug interaction is taken seriously. Your attorney can help you recover lost wages and medical expenses as a result of your medication interaction. Filing a malpractice claim or lawsuit can also assist in ensuring your doctor’s practice implements better safety precautions. Nothing motivates a business to makes changes like financial penalties. If you or someone you love has sustained injuries as a result of a drug interaction, you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney!