When you walk out of a doctor’s office with a prescription, you may not expect it to be an entirely different medication than what you actually need.
However, prescription errors often happen because the medical staff neglects patients or forgets to write information down. A noisy office or busy building can contribute to these mistakes in multiple ways.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, doctors can often have a lot of sensitive information to tell you about how to apply or ingest your medicine. If a staff member interrupts their conversation, the doctor may forget to tell you important instructions after they finish talking.
This completely preventable error may not get caught before you leave and order your prescription, increasing the likelihood of physical complications later on.
Confused labels and names
Many drugs have long or confusing names, which can make writing down the correct one hard if the doctor is not paying attention to what they are doing. A doctor may use the wrong abbreviation if they are talking to another person without stopping to double-check what they write.
One wrong number can even change an entire dosage, which can lead to a dangerous overdose. The form the medicine is in, such as liquid or pill form, is important when getting a prescription.
Lack of instructions
In many cases, you should take your medicine a specific way or avoid eating certain foods while taking it. If the doctor is not paying attention, they may not tell you about these guidelines.
A patient who feels increasing pain in the time after starting a prescription may need additional medical help if they suffered from medical malpractice.