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Common Causes of Pharmacy Errors

Posted On: Thursday, June 21, 2018
We explain common pharmacy dispensing errors.

We depend on our local pharmacies to provide us with prescription drugs that cure our ailments. By using a pharmacy, you have access to medications that can treat chronic pain, the flu, a headache or dangerous infections. However, there are thousands of cases each year where pharmacy patients do not receive the correct prescriptions to treat their health conditions.

Pharmacy errors can lead to life-altering injuries or death. For instance, there was a case in 2016 where a Loveland boy died after a pharmacist gave him 1,000 times the recommended dose of Clonidine. In this case, the pharmacist incorrectly mixed the drug.

Prescription drug errors can occur for various reasons. The possible causes of medication errors include:

  1. Providing the wrong drug. Pharmacists may confuse different types of medications. This type of error may occur if medications have similar names. Poor communication between pharmacies and other health care providers can also lead to this error.
  2. Providing the wrong dosage. Like in the example described above, pharmacists may provide the wrong dosages of medications. This type of error can lead to an overdose. Patients may also not reap the rewards of their prescribed treatments if they are not given an adequate amount of their medications.
  3. Providing the wrong formulation. Drugs may come in liquid, tablet or extended release formulations. Patients can suffer serious harm if they are given the wrong formulation of a drug.
  4. Failure to prevent drug interactions. Certain drugs cannot be taken together. Pharmacists may dispense prescription drugs that can lead to harmful interactions. For instance, taking an SSRI (antidepressant) with an MAOI inhibitor (another type of antidepressant) can lead to serotonin syndrome.

Questions About Medication Error Compensation? Contact Our Denver Personal Injury Lawyers

Our blog only discusses pharmacy dispensing errors. There are also medication errors that can occur while receiving treatment in a hospital. For instance, a nurse could incorrectly administer a drug. This type of error can also lead to poor outcomes. Future blogs may touch on this subject in more detail.

Pharmacies may be liable for medication errors. If a pharmacy error harmed you or a loved one, then we encourage you to speak to one of our attorneys during a free consultation. The Colorado medical malpractice attorneys at Lampert & Walsh, LLC could help you determine whether it would be possible to recover compensation.