How Pharmacy Mistakes Harm Patients and Destroy Lives
Medical negligence can affect patients inside and outside of hospitals. Pharmacy mistakes are horrific because patients take medications believing it will help alleviate symptoms, but instead suffer frightening or fatal side effects.
There are several reasons why pharmacy mistakes happen. Pills can look identical or have similar sounding names. Doctors are known for having awful handwriting, which can make it difficult for pharmacists to correctly fill orders. Pharmacies are busy places, and pharmacists can sometimes rush through their duties. Whatever the case might be, pharmacists and doctors are responsible for preventing mistakes.
Last summer, the Food and Drug Administration sent out a warning over two similar sounding medications, Brintellix and Brilinta. One is an antidepressant, the other is a blood thinner. These are two medications that should never be confused, as both can have potentially fatal side effects. Blood thinners can lead to brain hemorrhaging, which can be fatal or cause permanent damage. Brintellix can mix with other medications and cause fatal health conditions, such as serotonin syndrome. While these two drugs serve as a good example, there about 1,500 other medications with similar sounding names.
Medication errors can cause tragedies. For example, a 62-year-old woman died after her pharmacist confused Lyrica, a pain medication, with Lamictal, a mood stabilizer. Lamictal can cause suicidal thoughts, especially in high doses. The 62-year-old woman was prescribed an enormous dose of Lamictal. She was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Pharmacy Mistakes Are Preventable Tragedies
People can be harmed and families torn apart by pharmacy mistakes. Don’t let this happen to you. Always double check to ensure your prescriptions are free of errors. One way to do this, is to use www.pillbox.gov, a national database that has pictures, names and other information on prescription drugs. Double-checking information with pharmacists and doctors can also help prevent errors.