Rx for Health: How To Avoid Common Prescription Errors
more than 1,000 cases of prescription errors are reported to the United
States Pharmacopoeia (USP). Product confusion, illegible handwriting
and unclear directions for use are among the primary reasons for
prescription mistakes, USP found.
several simple steps today's consumers can take to avoid medication
errors, says Dr. John Little, senior vice president of Companion
HealthCare. He suggests:
- Make sure your prescription is legible.
If you cannot read the prescription, ask your doctor to print the name
of the medication and the directions for taking the medication.
- Ask questions.
You can ask your nurse, doctor or pharmacist. Make sure you completely
understand your health problems and how the medication is supposed to
- Talk with your pharmacist about the medication.
This conversation can help you catch errors that may have occurred when
the pharmacist reads and transcribes the written or phone-in
- Make sure you use your medication as the directions indicate they should be taken. Medication may not work as well if it is taken in the wrong dosage.
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