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Questions You Should Ask So That You Don’t Receive the Wrong Prescription

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

People are given the wrong drug or the wrong dose of medication more often than you probably imagine. Knowing as much as you can about your health care and what medication your doctor prescribed will help ensure you are receiving the correct prescription at the pharmacy. Instead of leaving your doctor’s office without knowing much about the medication prescribed to you, you should ask thorough questions. The following are example questions:

  • What is the brand name of the drug?
  • What is the generic name of the medication?
  • What dosage is the prescription for?
  • What am I taking this medication for?
  • What does this medication do?
  • How long should I take it?
  • Can I stop taking the medicine when I feel better?
  • What happens if I miss a dose?
  • When should I take the medication?
  • Do I need to take it with food?
  • Are you aware of my allergies?
  • Will this drug interact with my current medications?
  • Is it safe to take this drug with my vitamins and supplements?
  • Does this new medicine replace any of my current medications?
  • How long will I be taking it, and do I need a refill?
  • Are there any tests I have to take while on this medicine?
  • Do I need to avoid the sun, certain foods, or activities while on this drug?
  • What printed information can you give me about this prescription?

Although this list of questions seems long, nothing is too much when it comes to your safety, health and well-being. It is a doctor’s responsibility to prescribe the right prescription for you, but it is also your duty to take an active part in your own health care. The more information you have about the medications you are prescribed, the better able you are to help prevent medication mistakes from occurring. However, you and your doctor are just part of the equation—pharmacists also play a major role in your healthcare.

The more information you have about your new prescription when you leave your doctor’s office will help ensure that you receive the right medication at the pharmacy. Upon picking up your new prescription at the pharmacy, it is important to check the medication label to ensure it is the correct drug that the doctor prescribed. If the name, dose, use, or instructions appear different than what the doctor informed you about, ask the pharmacist to explain the difference. By double checking your prescription and the information your doctor gave you about this new medication, you may be able to prevent a medication error.

If you were harmed by the wrong medication, a negligent pharmacist may be to blame. Call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 to speak with an experienced pharmacy error attorney during a free consultation and to receive a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.