10 Ways to Prevent Medication Errors

Follow these steps to protect yourself from potentially harmful prescribing and medication errors.

1. Ensure that your doctor is aware of all the medication that you are taking.

Inform your doctor of all the medication that you are taking including, non prescription medication such as over the counter drugs or vitamins. This will help prevent drug conflicts as well as keeping your medical records relevant.

2. Ask a lot of questions and make sure you know as much as you can about the medication you are taking.

Make an attempt to learn as much as you can about the drugs that you are taking. Read all the available literature and if you are still unclear about anything, don’t be afraid to ask.

3. Make sure that you are able to read the prescription.

It can be very detrimental if neither you or the pharmacist can read the prescription. Make sure you know what drug you are taking and find out the specific reason why you need to take the drug; this will allow the pharmacist to double check that the medication is right for you.

4. If you are even slightly confused about the medication label directions, be sure to ask.

Some labels can be fairly complicated or difficult to understand so do not hesitate to ask the pharmacist or your doctor.

5. Be sure to confirm that you actually have the right medication.

Before consuming the medication, it is important to verify that you have the intended prescribed medicine.

6. Be sure to ask key questions:

There are a number of important questions that you should ask every time when getting medication prescribed:

  • How is the medication used?
  • Will some foods, drugs, or alcohol conflict with my medication?
  • What if I miss a dose?
  • Will it make me drowsy?
  • How should the medication be stored?
  • Under what conditions should I see my doctor?

7. Make sure that you are aware of all the side effects.

Be aware of all the possible side effects. This will help prevent false identification of allergic reactions as well as ensuring that you do not experience unexpected side effects.

8. Try to stick to one or only a few pharmacies.

Once you have found a pharmacy that you like, try and stick with it as they will be able to keep a better of your medication history.

9. Report all reactions or allergies.

If you experience any reactions or allergies, talk to your doctor immediately so that you do not cause any harm.

10. Maintain contact with your doctor.

Tell your doctor to follow up with you once you have started the medication as to determine whether you are responding correctly to the drugs.

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