Patients who take regular medications or multiple medications are at risk of injury caused by dangerous drugs. According to some health and medical experts, there are some ways you can help to avoid the consequences of dangerous drugs or dangerous drug interactions. Our Boston injury attorneys are experienced in these medical-legal cases and are dedicated to helping patients protect themselves and their loved ones from medical negligence.
According to statistics, the average American fills approximately 12 prescriptions per year. This creates significant opportunities for prescription errors including wrong medication, overdose, or dangerous mixing of drugs. While doctors, pharmacists, manufacturers and other medical professionals should be held accountable for dangerous drugs and injuries, there are some steps a consumer can take to avoid injures.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has reported that more than 77,000 injuries and death occur every year as a result of drug related events. Consumers and patients who understand the risks can take steps to reduce the chance of drug injuries and fatalities. The Food and Drug Administration has indicated that there are three main drug interactions: drug-food interactions, drug-condition interactions, and drug-drug interactions.
Drug-food interactions may result in dangerous side effects, such as when a drug is mixed with alcohol. Drug-condition interactions may have dangerous consequences if a doctor prescribes a drug without knowing a full medical history and other conditions that could be impacted by the use of a drug. Mixing two drugs or drug-drug interactions can be dangerous or fatal.
As a consumer, you should be aware of these various kinds of drug interactions. Pharmacists have offered the following tips to help you avoid some interactions and keep your family safe:
1) Stick with a regular pharmacy. Choosing one pharmacy and picking up all of your prescriptions can reduce the possibility of error and ensure that your pharmacist has a full record of your prior health conditions or other medications. When you see a regular pharmacist your doctor can also check for any risk of drug interactions.
2) Communicate regularly with your doctor. If you have a new or resurfacing health condition, always make changes known to your doctor. Your primary physician as well as any specialists you are seeing should have a list of your conditions and prescription medication. You should also indicate whether you are taking supplements and over the counter medication. Always ask questions if you have dietary restrictions, habits, or a history of food-drug interactions.
3) Ask questions and pay attention. When you get a prescription filled, you should have a clear understanding of the dose, potential side effects, name of the drug, and the drug instructions. Following directions can reduce the likelihood of error or a dangerous drug interaction. Always follow directions and drink water or eat food with a drug as indicated on the label. When you have questions, do not hesitate to ask your doctor or your pharmacist about concerns.
You should never share medication or take a prescription without a doctor’s consent. This could also result in serious side effects and injury. As always, when you are the victim of a dangerous drug interaction, you should consult with a legal-medical professional who can help you assert your rights.
If you are injured in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
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