According to a study, deaths caused by medical error and adverse drug reactions are estimated to account for a total of 204,000 deaths annually. And figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that drug fatalities are a trend that appear to be on the rise.
As a patient, parent, and consumer – you want to make sure that the prescription drugs that you and your family are taking are safe. Here are a few things that you can do to help protect yourself from injury, illness or even death.
One of the best things that you can do is to educate yourself about the drugs that you and your family members are currently taking. For those who are taking multiple prescriptions, it is important to know what the side effects and interactions are, as well as things you should avoid while taking them.
Are there over-the-counter drugs that you should avoid? Are there foods you shouldn’t eat? Are you taking other prescription medications that will be affected by your new prescription? Check the facts and be sure to double check with your doctor.
Look and Smell
Do a look and smell check of your over-the-counter and prescription medications. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t take it. Generally speaking, if something smells strange – don’t use it. Some Tylenol consumers were reporting a moldy smell. Johnson & Johnson and the FDA later reported that the smell is caused by trace amounts of a chemical that is often applied to wood pallets used to transport products. If something doesn’t seem right, remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.
Take a look at both the over-the-counter and prescription drugs that you use. Are there alternatives to taking them? For example, if you suffer from migraines, they may be triggered by certain foods or lack of sleep. There may be a way to avoid the problem by cutting out certain foods or going to bed earlier.
Monitor Expiration Dates
Do you check the expiration date of your medications before you take them? It might be wise to go through your medicine cabinet and properly dispose of any medications that are past their date. There are some medications that you should throw away and others you can flush.
Check for Recalls
It is always important to monitor recalls on the medications you and your family are taking. This is especially true for over-the-counter medications. If something you are taking has been recalled, it may be a good idea to contact your doctor for recommendations.
The best way to keep you and your family safe is through education. Unfortunately, illnesses and deaths caused by medications happen more often than you’d think.
If you or someone you know has gotten sick or has died from wrongly prescribed prescription drugs or a recalled drug – contact the Personal Injury attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss.