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Prescription Medication Errors - Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claims


If you have been injured in the UK by a healthcare professional including a pharmacist, doctor, dentist, nurse or technician in a surgery, hospital or clinic and would like to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about Prescription Medication Errors without further obligation, just use the helpline. A medical negligence lawyer who deals exclusively in personal injury claims involving clinical negligence will speak to you, giving free advice and information on how best to preserve your legal right to receive compensation as a result of injuries caused by medical negligence.

Medication Errors

Medication errors are serious. In the UK, they injure more than 100,000 individuals per year secondary to mistakes in prescribing by the physician, errors in dispensing the medication by the pharmacist and errors in administration by nursing staff or other staff responsible for giving medication to the patient.

Most medication errors can be prevented by proper communication between the parties involved. As a patient, it is a good idea to learn about the medications you're taking. This includes the possibility of side effects and knowing what the medication looks like and what it is for.

Medication errors are completely preventable. They are events that lead to a particular medication being used in a way that causes harm to the patient. One example is recommending that a patient take Tylenol which contains acetaminophen when they are already taking a medication such as Vicodin, which already contains acetaminophen. This can cause liver toxicity if taken together.

Another example is taking Bactrim for an infection if you are already taking warfarin as a blood thinner. Taking these together can cause dangerous haemorrhaging.

Most medication errors take place in the doctor's surgery, pharmacies, hospitals and nursing facilities. Medication errors happen because of the following reasons:

  • Poor communication between providers in a hospital and/or clinic.
  • Bad communication between the healthcare provider and their patient.
  • Medications that sound alike or use of medical abbreviations.
  • Having illegible prescriptions or writing directions that are confusing.

It is important to communicate between the various parts that play a role in getting a medication from the doctor's prescription to the patient. When a new medication is prescribed, the patient should ask the following questions. These are important to ask by every person involved in managing the medications:

  • What are the brand name and the generic name of the drug?
  • What is the drug’s purpose and how long until it takes effect?
  • What is the proper dosage and length of time to take the medication?
  • Are there drinks, food, or medications to stay away from while taking the medication?
  • What are the side effects of the medication?
  • What happens if the patient misses a dose?
  • What could happen if the patient takes extra doses?
  • Can the drug interfere with another medication?

Problems can happen if one is seeing a new doctor or a new pharmacist. The patient needs to tell the provider and the pharmacist the following information:

  • The names of all medications, supplements and OTC medication
  • Medications you're allergic to or have had problem with in the past
  • Serious or chronic health problems
  • If you are pregnant or might be pregnant in the near future

There are some common mistakes that doctors and pharmacists make. Patients can make these mistakes if there is poor communication between the providers, the pharmacist and the patients. These mistakes include the following:

  • Mixing eardrops and eye drops. It should be clear which is which and the medication should be labeled 'otic' for ear drops and 'ophthalmic' for eye drops.
  • Chewing a pill that shouldn't be chewed. This can be very dangerous.
  • Splitting a coated pill. As in chewing pills, you can accidentally take a pill that is not designed to be split.
  • Using the wrong sized spoon in cases of liquid medicine. It is better to use an oral syringe, from the pharmacy.

Prescription Medication Errors - Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our prescription medication error solicitors operate medical negligence compensation claims using the no win no fee** scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.


*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here