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Protect yourself against errors at the pharmacy

When you're prescribed medication, you shouldn't hesitate to obtain the drug and take it as outlined by your medical team.

While it's easy to assume that your doctor and pharmacy are on the same page, mistakes can and do happen every now and again. And if a serious mistake comes into play, there's a chance it could have a negative effect on your health and future well-being.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are six primary types of medication error:

  • Prescription errors
  • Prescribing faults
  • Transcription errors
  • Dispensing errors
  • Administration errors
  • Across settings errors

Take, for instance, a dispensing error. With this, the pharmacy provides you with the wrong drug for some reason. For example, the person filling the bottle accidently does so with the wrong medication. This results in you taking a drug that you don't need, while missing out on the one that's required to help your condition.

Just the same, a prescribing fault is every bit as dangerous. This occurs when your doctor prescribes the wrong drug or dose for your condition. Depending on the severity of the mistake, it could result in serious illness or even death.

Should you find yourself the victim of a medication error, consult with your medical team regarding the next steps in your treatment. You may have to take specific steps depending on your circumstances.

Once you feel better about your health and the direction you're headed, learn more about the reason for the mistake, who was at fault and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.

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