Columbia Pharmaceutical Errors Attorneys

Pharmaceutical drugs are often essential in treating illness or injury symptoms. Sometimes, however, pharmaceutical medication can become extremely dangerous if mistakes are made, such as mislabeling, incorrect dosage, and other errors caused by a negligent pharmacist. These errors can lead to severe injuries, worsened health conditions, adverse reactions, or even wrongful death.

At Goings Law Firm, LLC, our Columbia pharmaceutical errors attorneys are committed to representing victims of negligence, and we may advocate on your behalf for financial compensation from the responsible party. Pharmaceutical errors can be avoided if proper care and attention are paid. Pharmacists, can and should be held accountable if they make a mistake that causes someone harm. Negligence can be challenging to prove, so be sure to call us at (803) 350-9230 to discuss how we can help you.

Common Causes of Pharmaceutical Errors

Patients are at high risk for experiencing adverse effects when an incorrect medication is dispensed to them. Common causes of pharmaceutical errors in Columbia include:

Illegible handwriting on prescription – Doctors are known for their sloppy writing, and while there are countless jokes about it, the reality is much darker. A study conducted by the National Academies of Science’s Institute of Medicine found that over 1.5 million Americans are injured each year, and approximately 7,000 deaths could be attributed to bad handwriting.

Sloppy handwriting can be dangerous or even deadly, especially if the patient suffers from incorrect dosage, improper drug administration, or the prescription of the wrong drug entirely. Physicians can be held liable for medical mistakes that result from sloppy writing, and if you feel you have suffered as a result of a doctors handwriting, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible as you may be entitled to compensation.

Pharmacists filling the prescription incorrectly – Some pharmacies operate at high volumes and often process thousands of prescriptions a day. Unfortunately, like most things, a higher volume of output tends to lead to more mistakes and compound on what can already be a fairly stressful job. Often, these mistakes are fatal.

Within some pharmacies, the pharmacists prepare the medication as prescribed by the doctor. However, pharmacists can make mistakes and cause the medicine that they compound to be thousands of times weaker or stronger than the recommended dosage. Incorrect math has the potential to cause a terrible reaction and result in multiple days in a hospital with expensive medical bills.

Incorrect dosage – Another all too common pharmacy error is that during the filing of a prescription, the pharmacist does so with the wrong strength dosage. For instance, a doctor may order .20 milligrams of a medication for the patient, but the dosage that the pharmacist fills totals 20 milligrams, which is 100 times more than the doctor originally prescribed. This is one of the most significant risks that can often result in hospitalization and even death. High-level errors such as these result in some of the most severe complications for patients, but are often difficult to detect.

Failure to chart patient medical history – Often, doctors are required to keep meticulous records for every patient in their care. Without proper record keeping, there is the potential for doctors to overlook vital information that could lead to any number of inappropriate medical treatment. One of the most common types of these errors is failing to record that a patient is currently taking certain medications that could potentially conflict with newly prescribed medications, and could possibly lead to harmful drug interactions. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a mistake or an inadequate charting of your medical records you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible, as you may be entitled to some form of compensation.

Missing information about allergy sensitivities – A drug allergy occurs when the immune system negatively reacts to the presence of a specific type of medication. Any Number of prescription drugs have the potential to result in a drug allergy. The most common signs of an allergic reaction to a drug are the presence of hives and fever. However, there is the potential for a drug allergy to result in far worse. Two of the worst possible results of a drug allergy include anaphylaxis and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Pharmacies should generally have on record any medications that the patient is known to be allergic to, and if they overlook this information and their negligence results in harm or injury to you, then you may be entitled to compensation.

Similar-sounding drug names – Many medications have similar names that sound alike. The FDA tracks reports of these errors, and there are many examples of drugs with similar-sounding names resulting in a misprescription including, but not limited to:

      • Zantac (ranitidine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), and Zyprexa (olanzapine)
      • Celebrex (celecoxib) and Celexa (citalopram);Serzone (nefazodone) and Seroquel (quetiapine)
      • Lamictal (lamotrigine) and Lamisil (terbinafine)
      • Taxotere (docetaxel) and Taxol (paclitaxel)

These medications usually have completely different uses, and when the wrong medication is issued problem tends to arise.

Mislabeling Instruction Errors – Mislabeling instruction errors occur when the proper medication is issued, but the instructions associated with the drug are incorrect. This can result in the general misuse of a medication that causes the patient to inadvertently harm themselves by taking the drug in a manner that it was not designed to be taken in. Mistakes like this often included cases such as the incorrect frequency to take the medication (too little or too often), how much of the medicine to take at a time, what not to do while taking the drug, and even the types of side effects that may result by taking it.

Contraindicated Errors – Pharmacies occasionally fill a prescription that is “contraindicated,” when a patient has been seeing the same pharmacist the pharmacist should be aware that certain medications can not be taken together by the patient. For instance, medication taken for high blood pressure can not be taken concurrently with angiotensin medications. This sort of error is most common when a patient sees multiple doctors, and the doctors are unaware of conflicting prescriptions. However, the pharmacy filling the prescriptions should be aware of these conflicts and should inform the doctor or the patients of the presence of a drug conflict. These sorts of conflicts are common knowledge to any pharmacist, and an error such as this is inexcusable.

Contact a Columbia Pharmaceutical Errors Attorney For Help

Any time negligent behavior is involved in your health care and course of treatment, you are entitled to file a medical malpractice claim. The Columbia pharmaceutical error attorneys with the Goings Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience handling medical malpractice cases and may help protect your rights. Contact our offices in Columbia at (803) 350-9230 today to begin discussing your case.