According to the National Institute of Health, up to 9,000 individuals die in the United States each year as a result of drug errors made while taking a new medicine. The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention states that an error is defined as an action that may result in or escalate to inappropriate pharmaceutical usage or patient danger while the medication is in the hands of the medical professional, client, or consumer. A medical error can happen in a variety of ways, so here is why you should be careful, as well as what you should do when you’re prescribed or deciding on a new medicine.
Inadequate Planning or Patient Behavior
Mistakes made during this process can result in overdosing or other problems with some medications that need to be mixed with particular chemicals or diluted with particular substances before being administered. Patients who lack the necessary education run the risk of making mistakes that render their drugs ineffective or even harmful, for instance, attempting to divide pills, chewing pills that are intended to be eaten, or subjecting pills to excessive heat from cooking or hot liquid.
This describes circumstances in which the medication is given for a duration that is either too brief to be beneficial or too lengthy, which might result in negative side effects. An inaccurate duration error can happen when a prescription is written by a doctor or pharmacist, but it can also happen when staff members at a hospital or nursing home don’t follow instructions. It might also be a problem with patient noncompliance. For example, when they start to experience recovery symptoms, many patients fall into the trap of stopping their medicines.
Taking Incorrect Medications
The risk of a serious reaction while administering incorrect medication to a patient is one of the main worries because it might be fatal. Antibiotics have the potential to cause significant, even fatal, allergic reactions in people who are allergic to them. The improper medication could cause a patient to have anaphylactic shock because these drug allergies are sometimes fairly severe. As the team at Duffy & Duffy states, if you have been damaged, you might be eligible for compensation for the incident’s damages. Furthermore, a legal representative in such cases can help you deal with all the legal complexities that come as part of your medical negligence claim, so it is one of the best steps to seek professional help when fighting for your rights.
Receiving the wrong medicine could have disastrous consequences, even if the patient does not have an allergy. Some medications have unfavorable interactions with one another, which might exacerbate a patient’s illness. The efficacy of a medication for the patient may be decreased if one drug cancels out the effects of another. Drugs can also interact with one another in a way that increases each other’s effects. These situations may have severe repercussions for the patient and result in a malpractice lawsuit.
Why Do People Refuse to Follow Medicine Recommendations?
Drugs are sometimes not taken as prescribed for a variety of reasons, some of which are not intentional. Some people forget to take their medications or have difficulty grasping the directions. Others may stop taking their medications to avoid unpleasant side effects or because they feel the prescription is not sufficiently treating their symptoms. Some individuals skip doses in order to prolong the effectiveness of their medications or because they are unable to afford to promptly refill their prescriptions. Any of the aforementioned excuses may seem like a valid defense for not taking prescriptions as directed, but regularly misusing medications can have disastrous effects on one’s health.
What Should You Do?
The majority of Americans—nearly 7 in 10—take at least one prescription drug, although up to 50% are not taken exactly as directed. The Oman Medical Journal reports that people with chronic illnesses in developed nations only take half of the medications their doctors have prescribed. Each year, this causes upwards of 125,000 deaths in the United States and costs the country $300 billion. Taking your medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor is referred to as “medication compliance.” Medication noncompliance can occur for a number of reasons, such as expense, forgetfulness, doubting effectiveness, unclear instructions, and unpleasant side effects. Here is what you should do to avoid this.
Establish a Routine
Taking your medications will become natural and easy after you establish a habit. Including them in your daily activities is one way to do this. For instance, if you need to take a dose after breakfast, place them close to your refrigerator or teabags. Try setting an alarm or a reminder on your device if you find that you frequently forget to take your medications. Try using a pill box if you’re concerned about taking it twice. If you ask, your pharmacist will be happy to pack your medication into a pill box.
Allow Your Body Some Time to Adjust to the Drug
New medications take some time for your body to get used to. During this process, you can encounter some negative effects. The majority of people don’t experience adverse effects, and if they do, they often go away with time. Before stopping any medications, see your doctor and pharmacist if you have any persistent symptoms. Your concerns will be addressed, and they might be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication.
Inquire About Alcohol and Over-the-Counter Medications With Your Doctor and Pharmacist
You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on whether you can consume alcohol while taking a specific medication; the medication’s label will also include this recommendation.
Before using any over-the-counter medications in addition to the ones you have been prescribed, always with your doctor or pharmacist. Ibuprofen and cold remedies should be avoided if you are taking prescription medication unless your doctor has specifically allowed them. Paracetamol is typically fine to use for pain or a fever. This also holds true for dietary supplements, ointments, and herbal and homeopathic medicines.
Medicines can be used to treat illnesses and improve health, not to ruin it. You will need to take medication at some point in your life if you are like the majority of individuals. Depending on your situation, you might need to take medication regularly or only sometimes. In either case, you want to confirm that your medications are secure and will advance your recovery. We hope this article will help you understand the importance of it!