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Questions can help to avoid prescription errors

Each year, many Arizona residents are hurt by prescription drug errors, and they are not alone. More than 7,000 people across the U.S. die each year due to prescription drug errors in hospitals alone, and more injuries occur at home.

According to the Mayo Clinic, around 70 percent of Americans regularly take at least one prescription medication in a given year. It is important to ask questions when prescribed a new medication to avoid potentially deadly consequences and side effects.

One of the biggest issues that occur are interactions with other medications, vitamins and other substances that a person is already taken. People should inform their doctors and pharmacists of all medications and vitamins they are taking, including over the counter ones. They should then ask about possible interactions to make certain the prescribed drug will be safe for them to take. Similarly, getting information about potential side effects is important, especially concerning those that warrant seeking medical attention. Asking about the prescribed dose and how frequently the medication should be taken is also important, as many errors happen when doctors write down prescriptions or when pharmacists interpret them. While some medications are designed to be taken for lengthy periods of time, others have associated risks that increase with usage over time.

Unfortunately, medication injuries are far too common and mostly avoidable. A person who has been seriously injured due to a prescription error, either on the part of their physician, pharmacist or the manufacturer's failure to appropriately warn, may want to seek damages through the filing of a lawsuit with the assistance of an attorney. Available damages may include the cost of associated medical and ongoing treatment expenses, lost current and expected future income, pain and suffering and quality of life losses, among others.

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