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Last Updated: May 29th, 2012 - 03:07:02 


Prescription Alert
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Apr 25, 2008, 00:21

A report by the Institute of Medicine in 1999, found that as many as 4% of adults that were hospitalized in the US were harmed during their stay in the hospital in some way. This report spurred a research project on kids that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The report found that approximately 6% of children in the study area, Boston, were given faulty prescriptions, and this didn't even count the near misses!

How can you protect yourself and your children? Here are a few simple rules to follow to make sure that your prescriptions are accurate.

1. Make sure that the doctor has written a legible prescription. If you can't read it, the person filling your presccription may not be able to read it either.

2. Read back the prescription to the doctor. Sometimes hearing a prescription read will let the doctor catch a mistake in dosage or drug name.

3. Request that the doctor give written instructions to the person calling in the prescription. Oral instructions increase the chance of error.

4. Double-check the drug when you pick it up at the pharmacist. Make sure that it's the correct drug, and not one that has a similar name.

Other questions that you may want to ask at the doctor's office about any prescriptions he may order:

Is this a brand name drug or a generic?
Does the generic have the same effect?
Is there any danger of a reaction with any other medicine that you're taking?
What do you do if you miss a dose?
Are there any restrictions related to this drug: foods, drinks, or sunlight?

It's important to be diligent about medications. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

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