You trust your doctors to do what’s right for you. When they prescribe a medication, you generally believe that taking it as ordered is in your best interests. Most of the time, a new prescription gets filled at the pharmacy, taken as ordered, and works as intended by the prescribing physician. Sometimes, however, a doctor may prescribe a medication that directly impacts the effectiveness of another or causes a dangerous combination of chemicals. These issues that arise from combinations of prescribed medications are called drug interactions.
Some drug interactions are minor, while others can be much more serious, even fatal. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a drug interaction, you should consider speaking with an experienced medical malpractice and personal injury attorney.
How drug interactions happen
Most days, your doctor probably sees a dozen or more patients. This often reduces the available time with patients. Efficiency requires that your doctor scan your medical records chart instead of reading it in full. It’s possible that he or she could overlook information about a prescription medication or over-the-counter supplement you are taking. It’s also possible that your doctor could read it and forget it over the course of your appointment. If he or she prescribes a new medication without knowing about a previous one, there’s potential for an issue. It’s also possible he hasn’t heard about a particular drug interaction.
With electronic prescription systems at pharmacies, many times the pharmacist can catch serious drug interactions before they dispense the medication. If the patient fills prescriptions at more than one pharmacy, it is possible for this system to fail. It’s also possible for mistakes that occur during in-patient treatment in a hospital to cause drug interactions. Sometimes doctors misread charts or make mistakes. Nurses may administer drugs intended for another person. Mistakes happen. However, when those mistakes cause injury due to a drug interaction, someone should be held accountable.
How an attorney can help after a drug interaction
Meeting with an attorney after you or a loved one experience a dangerous drug interaction is a great idea. An attorney can review the details of your situation and help determine what your options may be. If the doctor or hospital have offered you a settlement for the injuries, an attorney can review the offer to see if it’s appropriate given the extent and severity of the injuries caused. If your family has incurred medical debt as a result of this drug interaction, a medical malpractice attorney can offer you options for recovering those expenses, such as a civil lawsuit or negotiating with the business responsible or their insurer.