Modern medications can help prevent pregnancy, cure infections and even help you to control your blood pressure. Most prescription drugs come with some degree of risk. Even the most trusted medications can cause medical complications in some situations.
Doctors need to carefully adhere to best practices when prescribing and dispensing medication for the protection of their patients. When doctors deviate from best practices, the results can be tragic for their patients.
Identifying the high-risk behaviors associated with prescription medication errors could help you avoid a poor outcome for yourself or a family member. When might a doctor’s decision to treat you with medication be a form of medical malpractice?
They don’t verify someone’s other medications
One of the most dangerous things a prescription drugs can do is cause an interaction with another medication. Medications can combine to create a dangerous effect on the body.
Some medications increase the effects of one another, while others may cancel each other out, leaving a patient without the treatment they need. If a doctor doesn’t verify what prescription someone already takes before prescribing a new drug, the result could be serious medical issues for the patient.
They recommend a medication off-label
The off-label use of a drug is the decision to administer or prescribe a drug approved for the FDA for a purpose other than the intended one. There is a presumption that the medication will be safe when used appropriately because it has met FDA safety standards, but some off-label use can be dangerous for the patient.
A doctor should inform you if they expect you to take a medication for a reason contrary to its approved purpose, and they shouldn’t use a drug in a way that the FDA warns against in literature or on medication labels.
They don’t taper patients off of medications
Most people understand how addictive prescription painkillers can be, and those medications can leave someone chemically dependent without the right support. A doctor needs to help them get off of those drugs by stepping them down to lower doses and monitoring them in the process.
Pain medications aren’t the only drugs that require tapering. Psychiatric drugs may require similar practices. Prednisone and other steroids are another class of drugs that required tapering for the safe termination of a medical regimen.
Identifying high-risk behaviors associated with drug-related medical malpractice can help you get the care you need while minimizing your risks.