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Becoming more proactive can protect you against medication errors

Every year people die because they have taken the wrong kind of medication. It is common for Providence residents to trust their doctor completely when it comes to the prescription drugs they receive, but pharmacy negligence or a misunderstanding from the doctor themselves, can put people unnecessarily at harm. Overmedication, the wrong dose, and even the wrong type of medication can lead to worsened conditions, new health issues and can even be fatal.

According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), patients can avoid becoming a victim of medication errors simply by taking a more proactive role. For instance, some health conditions can be treated with a number of different medications but a doctor may choose to put their patients on a high-risk medication instead of on a drug that is safer.

A university study points out that senior citizens using Medicare Advantage are often given these more dangerous medications, especially in southern states. This can lead to fatal drug errors if patients aren't taking the initiative of monitoring what it is they're taking. Patients can catch some errors simply by doing a little research on the drug they've been prescribed and asking questions. FDA data shows that since 1992, at least 30,000 patients have died from medication errors.

There are multiple kinds of errors that can be made when it comes to a person's medication. While becoming more involved in your drug treatment may not be able to prevent every error, it can lower your risk of becoming a victim. If you have been the victim of a medication mistake, you may want to think about consulting with an attorney to understand your rights.

Source: Consumer Affairs, "How do you know you're being prescribed the right medicine?" Daryl Nelson, April 15, 2013

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