Many articles exist about patients overdosing due to pharmacy error. But what about cases where an inadequate dosage of medication is either instructed (improper labeling) or dispensed?
Both overdosing AND underdosing can result in long-term patient injury. Today we will focus on complications resulting from underdosing.
Common sense would tell us that when we are treated for a condition, and medication is the treatment, getting the dosing right for the illness is paramount to health and healing. Doctors take other under-lying diseases into account, as well as the patient’s weight and age, and other factors to properly prescribe the medication. If an error occurs in the pharmacy, and the wrong medication strength is given, then the patient’s condition isn’t adequately treated.
When the following drugs are dispensed with a dose that is less than adequate, there can be severe consequences:
- Blood thinners
- Cardiac medications
- Cancer medications
Here are just a few problems associated with the underdosing of medication by a pharmacy:
- Ineffective treatment of the ailment
- Subsequent resistance to the drug (antibiotics)
- Spreading of the disease – making the conditions for healing very difficult.
Patients trust the system of pharmacy. We trust that the pharmacist translated the doctor’s prescription correctly. We trust that the pharmacist scans our medication history for adverse reactions to other medications we might be on. We trust that the right pill is taken off the shelf and fills our bottle. We trust that the label instructions are written according to what the doctor prescribed. We trust that the pharmacist checks and double-checks the bottle, its contents, and the insert instructions before handing the packet off to us. We trust that they will offer guidance and counseling as we check out.
That’s a lot of trust we put into the doctor of pharmacy, and rightly so. Pharmacists go through years of schooling to do what they do, and they take an oath, similar to what doctors take, and I am confident they enter the field to help patients navigate their health issues and don’t want to harm anyone.
If you are taking any of the types of drugs described above, you need to be extra vigilant when picking up your prescriptions and asking for the pharmacist’s counseling. Even if this is a drug that you’ve taken for years, read the label. Note the pill. Has anything changed since the last time you picked up your prescription?
If you or a loved one have ever received a smaller dose than intended due to a pharmacy error, you may have a compensation claim. Your first step is to review your case facts with a certified attorney. Get your free review with Kennedy Law Firm at 713-425-6445.