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How a patient in Maryland can help prevent medication mistakes

Many times patients in Maryland completely rely on doctors when it comes to regaining their health and vitality. However, it is important for patients to understand that no matter how well-trained and skilled doctors are, they can also make mistakes, especially when writing prescriptions. It helps for patients to be proactive and take the necessary precautions to avoid perilous medication mistakes. Here are a few important things every patient needs to know before taking medication.

First, ascertaining the exact name of your medication is important to avoid purchasing the wrong medication. Before heading to the pharmacy ask the doctor for the name or generic forms of the medication. This will ensure that you have bought the right medication from the pharmacy.

Once you obtain the right medication, make certain that you ask all necessary questions regarding the prescription, such as amount and length of dosage. What are the possible side-effects of the medicine? When should you contact the doctor or the pharmacist in case of any side effects? Is there any medication or food that you should avoid while taking the prescribed medication? Take note of all these important issues and follow instructions until the course of treatment is ended. Make sure you know why the medication has been prescribed. Patients should ask any questions they may have about the medicines they take to ensure correct usage. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor about what to expect from this medication. Also, it is important to read the label before you take a medication to ensure that you do not mistake ear drops for eye drops or you do not give your newborn medicine meant for your older child.

Patients should keep their health care providers well-informed about medications provided by other medical practitioners to minimize medication mix-ups. It is wise to prepare a list of medications for all health care providers for presentation at each visit. All of this being said, even the most careful and well-prepared of patients can fall victim to injuries caused by a negligent physician, particularly when it comes to medication errors. In these situations, pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit may be one option patients may consider.

Source: Food and Drug Administration, "Tips to Avoid Medication Mistakes," Accessed on June 12, 2015

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Maryland Trade Center III
7501 Greenway Center Drive # 460
Greenbelt, MD 20770
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