Prescription drug injuries are becoming more and more common as pharmacies try to meet the increasing demands of their customers without hiring additional staff members. While there are several potential causes for a pharmacy misfill, one recent article points out that the similarity of different drug names may play a role in the confusion, increasing the chances of an error.
Confusion Can Lead to Serious Injury or Even Death
Although some medication errors can cause little or no harm to the patient taking the drug, others can cause permanent or serious injury or even death. Suppose that the prescription is for a life-threatening condition that, if the patient does not get his or her medication, he or she could die. If a pharmacist fills that patient’s prescription with the wrong drug—even if the improperly prescribed drug was harmless—the patient may suffer serious injury or death.
Dosage confusion is also an area that can result in serious injury. If a doctor improperly prescribes a larger-than-needed dose, and the patient takes the prescribed dose, he or she may be at risk of an overdose. The same is true for an under-dose.