Your health condition requires you to take medication, but experience showed you that you must do your part to prevent medication errors. No matter how much you trust your new doctor or pharmacist, you cannot be too careful. 

It may help to get a breakdown of how prescription errors happen and how you can keep them from happening. Learn who may bear responsibility if a medication mix-up happens. 

How errors happen  

Prescription errors happen in several ways. If you have multiple healthcare professionals tending to you, a miscommunication between them could lead to a mistake. Medication abbreviations may look alike, which may trigger a mix-up. The same applies to medications that look alike or prescription names that sound similar. Even if your doctor does everything right regarding your medication, your pharmacist could bear guilt for a mishap. 

How you can prevent errors 

With the right information, you can help keep errors from happening. For instance, ask questions if anything your doctor or pharmacist tells you about your medication confuses you. Ask about medication side effects so you know what to expect, and have your physician let you know what to do if you ever miss a medication dose. Learn what results you should expect after taking the medication, and when you should expect to experience those results. 

When you pick up your prescription at the pharmacist, double-check that your name is on the bag or bottle and that the name of the medication is the same as what your doctor told you. Get the brand name and generic name of the medication. 

Doctors and pharmacists are human, which means they make mistakes. Make sure their slip-ups do not result in preventable harm through a medication error.