Included among the responsibilities of a Maryland pharmacist is the duty to ensure that the medication provided to a patient does not negatively interact with the patient’s other prescriptions. Prescription medications contain powerful drugs and many prescription medications should not be taken with other prescription medication or even over-the-counter medications.
There are several types of drug interactions, including pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic interactions. A pharmacodynamic interaction occurs when two medications that react with the same receptor site are taken at the same time. Pharmacodynamic interactions result in the ingested medications having a greater (synergistic) or decreased (antagonistic) effect, depending on the specific medications involved. Pharmacodynamic interactions can be fatal.
Pharmacokinetic interactions occur when one drug affects the body’s ability to absorb, metabolize, distribute, or eliminate another medication. For example, calcium can bind to some medications, reducing their absorption. Thus, patients are advised not to take the HIV medication Tivicay at the same time as Tums because the calcium in Tums can lower the amount Tivicay that is absorbed into the patient’s system. In this situation, doctors suggest patients take the two medications at staggered times throughout the day.
Patient Speaks Out After Pharmacist Failed to Catch Dangerous Drug Interaction
Earlier this month, a woman discovered that her pharmacist provided her with medication that had an adverse interaction with other medication the woman was taking. According to a news report, the woman had previously suffered a heart attack, and was prescribed a “cocktail” of medications. One of those medications, Ramipril, is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. Ramipril should not be taken with Entresto, another drug that is used to treat patients with cardiovascular problems.
The woman’s pharmacist, however, failed to pick up on the adverse interaction between the two drugs. The woman took both prescriptions home and took them as directed. After 31 days of taking both medications, she returned to the pharmacy for an unrelated reason and it was discovered that the two medications can have a serious, potentially fatal, interaction when taken together. The woman noted that for the 31 days she was taking both medication she was very fatigued, but was not sure whether that was just a side effect of one of the medications. The woman expressed her surprise that such an obvious and easy-to-catch error slipped through the cracks.
Have You Been the Victim of a Pharmacist’s Negligence?
If you or someone close to you has recently been the victim of a pharmacy error, call the Maryland pharmacy error attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we pride ourselves in providing a unique form of client-centered representation to each of our clients. We see our clients as people, not just as cases, and take special care to ensure that our clients are educated about their case and kept informed of its progress. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today. There is no risk in calling, because we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you recover for the injuries you sustained.