What You Should Know About Medication Errors [PART I]

medical drugs

Medicines are intended to prevent problems from chronic diseases, cure infectious diseases, and ease pain. We all work hard to keep ourselves healthy. Unfortunately, medication errors are sometimes inevitable especially without proper management skills with your medicines.

Medication errors may sound simple, easy to manage, or for some harmless. However, mistakes in prescribing, dispensing, and administering medications harm a number of people each year all over the world. Nevertheless, medication errors can actually be prevented.

Eastern’s Pharmacy, a trusted pharmacy in Seattle , sees to it that you can protect yourself and your family from the potential risks of being harmed by medication errors. Our experts believe that to take an active role in your own health care is the best solution.

Medication errors are actually preventable errors and it occurs when medications are being used inappropriately or simply, abused. Relative to the active ingredient’s strength and its whatnot, medication errors can cause adverse side effects that can be fatal to you.

For instance, you take an OTC drug that contains acetaminophen while you are taking a prescription pain medication that already contains acetaminophen can put yourself at risk of liver damage. Another would be taking two strong drugs at the same time –Zyban and Wellbutrin. Both contain bupropion but each is intended to treat two different conditions—smoking cessation and depression—respectively.

How does it occur?

Medication errors can happen anywhere and anytime at your own home or even at your doctor’s office, at a pharmacy, hospitals, etc. You should know what you are up against in order to play it safe. The most common causes of medication errors are:

  • Poor communication between providers and patients
  • Poor communication between healthcare professionals and providers
  • Similar-sounding medication names and abbreviated labeling

You can actually lower your chances of side effects from medicines by carefully following the directions on the medicine label, from the prescriptions of your doctor, or advices from your pharmacist. Side effects can range from mild like an upset stomach to serious injuries like liver damage.

What are the common medication errors?

  • Chewing nonchewables
    Some medications should never be chewed, crushed, or cut. Do not assume chewing a pill is similar to that of swallowing it. Because the smaller they are, it may change on how they can be absorbed in the body.
  • Confusing eardrops and eyedrops
    If a medication says “otic”, it is for the ears. If it says, “ophthalmic”, it is for the eyes. Always double-check the label. Visit Eastern’s Pharmacy, a credible pharmacy in Seattle , for quality medications.
  • Using the wrong spoon
    A regular spoon from your silverware drawer is not as good as measuring spoons. For an accurate dose, an oral syringe may be the best option. They are available at pharmacies or the dose cup that came with the medication.
  • Cutting up pills
    Some medications should not be cut because they are coated to be long-acting or to protect the stomach so never split the pills unless your doctor or pharmacist has told you that it is safe to do so.

If you think Eastern’s Pharmacy is the right pharmacy in Seattle for you and your family, call us today!

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