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The wrong injection can significantly impact your health

When you go to a doctor or a hospital for your usual injections, you expect it to go as planned. It should be a quick process, without any complications. 

Unfortunately, a nurse may grab the wrong medication. Instead of the steroid you expect, you receive an injection of testosterone. That's a big mistake, and it's one that you come to realize because of the side effects.

Drugs do get mixed up often, usually because of similar routes of administration along with extremely similar names. Methylprednisolone, for example, is easily confused with methyltestosterone. That's a problem for patients who need a certain drug and who may not benefit from another. In a worst-case scenario, a patient could be allergic to a new medication or have horrible, potentially life-threatening side effects from receiving the wrong medication.

What should you do if you're given the wrong injection?

It's too late to stop the injection now, but you should immediately let your medical provider know if you notice any side effects or complications. 

If there is no risk of harm from the injection, your medical provider may give you the medication you came for and keep you under observation for a short time. If there is a risk of side effects or an antidote is needed, then you may be monitored very closely while in a hospital.

Receiving the wrong injection is not something that should happen under the correct circumstances. For example, medical providers should always be checking the medication closely against the patient's chart and prescription. Even a few letters in the drug's name being different could mean that it's a totally different medication that cannot be used. The strength of the medication should also be carefully checked before it is administered.

You have a right to know what the medication is, the dosage and to ask any questions you have about it before the injection is administered. Your medical provider should review with you the medication, dosage and any potential side effects before administration.

As a patient, you are an important guardian of your own body. You should take an active role in your own health and take steps to know what medications you are taking, you are being given and the dosages. Be prepared to speak up if you don't feel that the right medication has been or is going to be administered.

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