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Prescription Dispensing Errors

Posted on April 20th, 2009 No Comments

Many retail pharmacies have come to resemble fast food joints moreso than they resemble a health care center. With cost-cutting and efficiency being the rule of the day, pharmacies are filling more prescriptions and at a faster rate than ever before. Although in many cases, this is necessary to accommodate the large amount of prescription medications taken in the United States, if a pharmacy is inadequately staffed, the odds of a dispensing error increases.

Types of Errors

There are numerous opportunities for a dispensing error to be made. Some of these errors can include:

•    Incorrect Medication
•    Incorrect Quantity
•    Incorrect Dose
•    Incorrect Instructions
•    Incorrect Storage

All of these errors can have life-threatening consequences, especially for conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, seizures and diabetes.

Spotting a Dispensing Error

There are numerous steps you can take to ensure that a dispensing error does not occur:

•    Examine your label immediately. Check that you received your own medication, not someone else’s, and that the instructions are consistent with what you have previously taken.
•    Examine the medicine itself. If it looks different than what you have previously received, contact your pharmacy to double check the medicine.
•    Ask your doctor for a copy of your prescription so you can compare the instructions on the prescription with the instructions on your label. If the prescription has abbreviations that you do not understand, ask your doctor to explain them in common terms.

When receiving your medications, make sure to thoroughly check the label. Ensure that you have received your medication, and not someone else's, and that the instructions on the bottle are what you have expected. Additionally, examine the medication itself. If it is different from what you usually receive, do not hesitate to call your pharmacy to ensure that you have not received an incorrect medication.

If you or a loved one have suffered injury as a result of a pharmacy dispensing error, contact Jacksonville personal injury lawyer Don Guthrie at 904-296-1088.

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