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Medical Malpractice Claims for Sound-Alike Drug Mistakes

 Posted on July 14, 2022 in Medical Malpractice

Rockford medical malpractice attorneyApproximately two-thirds of U.S. adults are on one or more prescription medications. Statins, ACE inhibitors, beta-agonists, and opioids are some of the most commonly prescribed medications. When people are prescribed a medication from a doctor, they assume the medication is safe and effective. They assume that the pharmacy that provides the medication has carefully checked the medication and provided the correct drug in the correct dosage.

Unfortunately, prescription medication mistakes are not uncommon. One issue that leads to a surprising number of medication errors is sound-alike or look-alike medications.

Sound Alike Medications Can Lead to Deadly Mistakes

When an individual receives the wrong medication, they may not realize when they initially take the medication. It is only after they begin suffering from worsened symptoms, side effects, drug interactions, or other adverse consequences that they realize something is wrong.

One study found that as many as one in four medication mistakes are caused by sound-alike or look-alike medications being confused for each other. For example, if a pharmacist is not looking closely, he or she may confuse vinblastine for vincristine or clonidine for clonazepam. These mix-ups can be very dangerous, especially if one medication is provided at the recommended dose of another medication. Respiratory arrest, renal failure, hypotension, and hypoglycemia are just some of the many dangerous consequences that can occur from a medication mix-up like this. Some medication errors are fatal.

One woman is grieving the death of her mother after the 62-year-old was given Lamictal instead of Lyrica. Lyrica is used to treat nerve damage caused by diabetes, shingles, or infection. However, Lamictal is a heavy-duty medication used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder. The woman thought she was taking her nerve medication when she was actually consuming a very high dose of this potent psychiatric drug which has been closely associated with suicidal tendencies. The grandmother, who had never shown signs of suicide ideation before, ended up passing away due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound within a few days of taking the medication.

These types of tragedies occur more frequently than many people realize.  One report from the Institute of Medicine found that 7,000 people die from medication mistakes every year. Thousands more suffer non-fatal medical complications due to medication errors.

Call Our Rockford Medication Error Lawyers if You Were a Victim of a Drug Mix-Up

If you or a loved one were harmed by a medication mistake, contact Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of Schwartz Injury Law to explore your legal options. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your damages. Call our Winnebago County medical malpractice attorneys at 815-215-7561 for a free consultation.





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