Tips to Avoid Medication Errors


Medication errors do occur, and patients must to be vigilant and do what they can to help prevent errors. Ask questions, read labels and instructions, and make sure the medication is what the doctor prescribed.

Make sure you understand what the prescription medication is for and how you are supposed to take the medication. Some prescription drugs list restrictions like not eating or drinking certain foods, taking medication before or after a meal, or staying out of the sunlight. Ask your doctor, or pharmacist, if there are any restrictions on your medication.

Make sure your doctor knows the medications you are taking, the dosage, and the frequency you are taking it. Your list should include all medications including over the counter drugs like aspirin, herbal supplements, and vitamins you may be taking.

Prescription medications may become dangerous if the medication is taken with some over the counter or supplemental medications.

Your doctor should know all of your allergies to medications as well as your food and environmental allergies. If you have life threatening allergies, you need to wear a bracelet, or other medical alert tags, so the medical staff can quickly be are aware of your condition.

Hospital Stays

When you are in the hospital, you are introduced to many new medications. You may not feel well enough to ask questions about the medications that are given to you all hours of the day and night. You need to have your allergy and prescription drugs list prepared before you go to the hospital. Give the list to a family member or a friend, who can ask questions on your behalf while you are in the hospital.

If you have an emergency and you are transported to the emergency room, a medication and allergy list could save your life.