How Medication Errors Can Threaten Your Life

Friday, December 21, 2012

How Medication Errors Can Threaten Your Life

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

With one slip of his pen on his prescription pad, your doctor can cause serious short and long term health problems and possibly even death. If you’re lucky, one of the safeguards in place, like your pharmacist, will catch the error. But if not, make sure you seek the services of malpractice lawyers in Chicago to learn your rights and fight for justice. Medication errors injure 1.5 million people each year, reports The National Academies. There are many types of medication errors that can harm you in a variety of ways.

Mixing Medications

Some medications do not mix well with other medications. Combining medications can result in severe side effects or nullify medications you are taking. For example, antibiotics, like Amoxicillin, cancel out the effects of birth control pills. Antidepressants, like Prozac, and migraine meds, like Zomig, combine to cause anxiety and muscle tremors. Mixing medications often result in short term effects and often stop the when individual no longer takes both medications. The side effects can be unpleasant and harmful.

Ignored Warnings

Some medications come with a FDA warning about certain illnesses or other variables. For example, some muscle relaxants should not be used on the elderly. Other medications can cause organs to fail. This type of medication mistake can easily result in permanent illness and even death.

Wrong Dose

Each medication has to be carefully calculated for your weight. The wrong dose of a medication can prolong your illness or cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, rash, abdominal pain and depression. According to a study by the Food and Drug Administration, the most common medication error is administering the wrong dose, which resulted in 41 percent of errors between 1993 and 1998.

Wrong Medication

Taking the wrong medication can result in severe side effects, both from the existing health issue and those resulting from the wrong medication. During above mentioned FDA study, 16 percent of drug errors resulted from taking the wrong medication. The medication may have been wrongly prescribed or caused by mistakes in the pharmacy. You should always check the medicine label before taking it.

The Elderly

Seniors are particularly at risk for medication errors, since many medications affect elderly patients more severely than younger patients. Fifty percent of all fatal medication errors occur in people over 60 years old. Side effects are often worse than in younger patients, because of their advanced age.


To prevent you or an elderly loved one from becoming a medication error statistic, you should always have your doctor repeat the medicine’s name, dosage and frequency to you before you leave the office. Check the information on the prescription bottle when you fill it at the pharmacy. You can also look up the medication online to look for any warnings and talk to your pharmacist about it.

Medication errors can threaten your life. Each time you go to the doctor you put your life in your doctor’s hands. You should take an active part in your health. If you or a loved one may have been the victim of a medication error, you may have a legal case to compensate you or your love ones for the suffering caused by the error. Consult a Chicago malpractice attorney immediately.

DISCLAIMER: All information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Malman Law shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon. For more information read our full disclaimer.


Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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