What Are Adverse Drug Events?

Medication errors, some of which are adverse drug events, can result from drug misuse or from defects of the medications themselves. As someone who needs medications in Connecticut, you’re not alone. In fact, with over 10,000 medications available and up to a third of the people in the United States taking five or more medications, it’s certainly not unbelievable that you suffered from a medication error.

In general, medications provide benefits that patients otherwise would not have. Reducing fevers, swelling, and controlling dangerous medical conditions are just some of the jobs prescription and nonprescription drugs can perform, but when they are misused or mixed, there can be issues.

Doctors are trained to know which medications can be taken together. If you’ve suffered an adverse drug event due to being prescribed two drugs that shouldn’t be taken together, then your doctor may be charged with a crime for negligence or malpractice. A preventable adverse drug event, as that would be known, is an injury that you suffer due to a mistake made by the prescribing doctor, pharmacist, or other party.

Of course, not all adverse drug events are the fault of doctors or nurses; unless you know you have an allergy or other reaction to a medication, all a medical team can do is care for you and stop giving you the medication if that kind of reaction occurs. Other adverse drug events, like a doctor prescribing too high of a dose of medication, is dangerous and could make way for a lawsuit. The best thing to do if you’re not sure about your case is to make sure you gather all your information and discuss it with someone familiar with the law.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “Medication Errors” Dec. 01, 2014

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