Despite a great progress in medicine, developing new drugs and improving the existing ones, studies show that more and more Americans become sick because of medication errors.
Have you ever thought about possible side effects and complications, when didn't read instruction or took higher dose of the medicine? “More” doesn't mean “better”.
Researchers analyzed data of the National Poison Database System from 2000 to 2012. The study included patients with serious medical outputs, which required professional medical cure.
All cases were about medication-related errors, occurred out of medical facilities, most frequently at people homes.
It was found that 67 603 patients got ill because of taking wrong dose, wrong pill or consuming medicine twice by mistake.
Vast majority of sufferers were treated by health care professional successfully, but 5.8% patients had extremely dangerous conditions and 0.6% of all poisoned people died.
It was also found that over 13-year period the overall amount of medication errors has doubled. In 2012, 6855 cases were reported, while in 2000 this number was only 3065.
The most frequent mistakes were made with heart pills, such as beta blockers, clonidine and calcium antagonists.
Painkillers rank second in this list. And it's not only about over-the-counter pills, like acetaminophen. Prescription opioid medicines were also often taken inappropriately, even though doctors warn patients about their potential harm.
A lot of patients had problems with hormonal drugs, particularly with insulin. The most errors involved confusing drugs with others that have look-alike packaging, similar names or abbreviations.
That's why the Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis (the part of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research), reviews names, labels, packages and design before approving drug, in order to prevent errors.
It's really important that patients should ask physicians and pharmacists everything about their drugs, till they 100% understand how to take them correctly.
It's a good idea for caregivers and parents to write down exact time, they give a medicine to beloved one or to a child. This can help avoid giving medication once more within the same day.
Read the labels and instructions thoroughly and pay attention that certain medications may interact with each other and with alcohol.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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