Dealing with Prescription Drug Errors

Prescription drugs are used to cure patients of various ailments.

prescription-drugsIt is important that the right dose of the right medicine is administered to the patient in the correct manner for it to be effective in curing the condition. Medication errors such as giving the wrong drug can lead to serious health complications and even death.

Prescription Drug Errors

Missouri medical malpractice lawyers believe that prescription drug errors occur at all levels in the health care system. The cases of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, or hospital staff members committing a medication error are not uncommon. The results of such errors are often life threatening.

Five Factors for Prescribing Medication

There are various kinds of medication errors that can cause harm to a patient. Missouri medical malpractice attorneys believe that when it comes to medication, there are five basic factors that need to be correct.

  • The medication should be provided to the right patient. It should not happen that medication is administered to another patient on the next bed.
  • Only the correct dosage of the medication should be given. Under dosing or over dosing can lead to serious health complications. The prescribing doctor, the nurse who administers it, or the pharmacist who provides the drug can commit dosage errors.
  • Only the right drug should be given to the patient. Many drug names sound similar and this can lead to medication errors. The doctor should take into account the patient’s medical condition and history while prescribing the medicine.
  • The drug should be given via the correct route. It should be ensured that the oral medicines are given only by mouth and that the IV is given only in a vein and not an artery. An error in choosing the route can render the medication ineffective and in worst cases can even cause death.
  • The medication should be administered at the correct time.

Types of Prescription Drug Errors

Failure to adhere to any of the aforementioned points can constitute medical malpractice. The most common types of prescription drug errors reported are:

  • Giving wrong medication to the patient.
  • Administering incorrect dosage of a particular drug; both under dosing and over dosing constitutes medical malpractice.
  • Prescribing a medication that interacts in a negative manner with other medications that the patient might be taking.
  • Failure to notify and warn the patient about the possible side effects of a medicine.
  • Failure to take into account the patient’s medical conditions and allergies while prescribing medication.
  • Incorrect labeling of the medication.

Anyone who is involved in prescribing or administering the wrong medication to the patient can be held liable for the medication error. It may include doctors, pharmacists, nurses, drug manufacturers, or hospital staff. If someone close to you has become a victim of a prescription drug error, contact Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200. We have the expertise, medical knowledge, and resources to effectively investigate and litigate medical malpractice cases.

Photo credit: David Goehring via Flickr

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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