Some prescription medication errors occur in a patient’s home and are therefore not the fault of any medical professional. The patient or their caregiver misremembers the doctor’s instructions or mixes up several medications with poor results.
However, medication errors often also occur in medical settings. You likely trust that your doctor made the right choice when writing you a prescription for a medication. However, your physician can very easily make mistakes when recommending prescribed medications that can lead to poor outcomes for you.
The two scenarios below are among the more common situations that involve a physician making a major prescription drug mistake.
They don’t properly review someone’s records
Maybe you have taken a medication in the same class of drugs before and had a severe allergic reaction. Perhaps you currently take another medication that has a known, dangerous reaction with the drug your doctor prescribed. Maybe you have medical conditions that would make the side effects of a certain prescription too dangerous to risk.
There are many reasons why a doctor needs to carefully review your medical records before prescribing the medication. All too often, doctors pressed for time by their corporate employers cut corners with the medical review process for individual patients, which can lead to preventable medication mistakes.
They make a simple mistake while writing out or typing a prescription
Many doctors offices have transitioned to electronic prescriptions to avoid the possibility of people stealing prescription pads from physicians. Others still use written prescriptions. Doctors can make mistakes both while scribbling out a prescription by hand or when entering drug information into a software program.
They might misspell the drug, which would lead to the program or the pharmacist assuming they meant a different medication. They could also make mistakes regarding the dosage that they recommend. The chances are good that no one will catch those mistakes unless they start having negative impact on the patient.
There are many other ways that physicians can make mistakes while administering medication, including making mistakes when giving verbal orders to nurses at a hospital. Reviewing your medical records can be a good starting point if you believe that your physician was responsible for a medication error that harmed your health.