DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My good friend’s father just lately died from a medicine error. Considered one of his prescriptions was crammed incorrectly and induced a deadly response. I take a number of drugs for numerous situations. How can I scale back my threat for a drugs error?
ANSWER: Remedy errors discuss with errors in prescribing and shelling out drugs. These errors injure a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals yearly within the U.S. Frequent causes of medicine errors embody drug names that sound alike, drugs that look alike, and medical abbreviations. Most medicine errors might be prevented.
Information is your greatest protection in opposition to medicine errors.
Probably the greatest methods to cut back your threat of a medicine error is to take an energetic function in your well being care. Be taught in regards to the drugs you are taking, together with potential uncomfortable side effects. By no means hesitate to ask questions or share considerations along with your well being care supplier or pharmacist.
Remedy errors can occur to anybody in anywhere, together with your private home and at your well being care supplier’s workplace, in addition to a hospital, pharmacy or senior residing facility. Kids are particularly at excessive threat for medicine errors as a result of they sometimes want totally different drug doses than adults.
An instance of a medicine error is taking an over-the-counter product that comprises acetaminophen, equivalent to Tylenol, once you’re already taking a prescription ache drugs that comprises acetaminophen. This error may trigger you to take greater than the beneficial dose of acetaminophen, placing your self prone to liver injury.
One other instance of a potential medicine error is taking a despair medicine referred to as fluoxetine (Prozac or Sarafem) with a migraine drug referred to as sumatriptan (Imitrex). Each medicines have an effect on ranges of a mind chemical referred to as serotonin. Taking them collectively can result in a probably life-threatening situation referred to as serotonin syndrome. Signs of the damaging drug interplay embody confusion, agitation, fast heartbeat and elevated physique temperature, amongst others.
It is very important retailer drugs of their unique labeled containers and completely learn the directions on find out how to take drugs. Different medicine errors embody complicated eardrops and eyedrops, chewing nonchewable drugs, chopping up drugs, and taking the unsuitable dose.
Do not assume chewing a capsule is pretty much as good as swallowing it. Some drugs ought to by no means be chewed, lower or crushed. Doing so can change how the physique absorbs them. Guaranteeing an correct dose of liquid medicine is essential, so keep away from utilizing spoons in your silverware drawer versus a syringe or dose cup, each of which can be found at most pharmacies.
Be proactive and assessment your drugs recurrently, particularly once you begin a brand new medicine.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist these questions:
- What’s the model or generic title of the medicine?
- What’s the medicine imagined to do? How lengthy will it’s till I see outcomes?
- What’s the dose? How lengthy ought to I take it?
- What ought to I do if I miss a dose?
- What ought to I do if I unintentionally take greater than the beneficial dose?
- Are there any meals, drinks, different drugs or actions I ought to keep away from whereas taking this drugs?
- What are the potential uncomfortable side effects? What ought to I do in the event that they happen?
- Will this new medicine intervene with my different drugs? In that case, how?
Your well being care supplier may help forestall medicine errors by utilizing a pc to enter and print, or digitally ship, prescriptions, as a substitute of handwriting prescriptions. If you choose up a prescription, test that it is the one your well being care supplier ordered. It additionally helps to save lots of the knowledge sheets that include your drugs.
One other solution to scale back the danger of a medicine error is to reconcile your drugs throughout every go to along with your well being care supplier. This includes evaluating the record of medicines your well being care supplier has with the record of medicines you’re taking, which may help keep away from medicine errors.
It is very important share this info:
- The title and energy of all drugs you take and once you take them, together with prescriptions; herbs; nutritional vitamins; dietary dietary supplements; over-the-counter medication; vaccines; and something acquired intravenously, together with diagnostic and distinction brokers, radioactive drugs, feeding tube dietary supplements, and blood merchandise.
- Any drugs that you just’re allergic to or which have induced issues previously.
- Whether or not you have got any new persistent or critical well being issues.
- For those who is perhaps pregnant otherwise you’re attempting to grow to be pregnant.
Additionally, preserve a present record of all of your drugs, together with nonprescription medication and dietary supplements, in your pockets, purse or different protected location. Being ready and knowledgeable are the most effective methods to keep away from well being considerations.
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Q and A: Decreasing the danger of medicine errors (2021, September 29)
retrieved 29 September 2021
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