Prescription Medications

Prescription Errors can and do occur.
Even if you’ve always taken a particular medication, it is important to check every prescription that you pick up from your pharmacy, or have delivered for accuracy. Many of us assume that our physicians, hospitals, pharmacists and other healthcare providers are “checking” everything anyway — so what’s the point of our checking? Furthermore, many of us don’t even know what our medication dosage is supposed to be, until we read the label on our prescription medications.

After today, I’m hoping that all of you will feel differently and you will begin keeping track of all of you and your loved one’s medications.

Here’s my personal story about why becoming an informed patient and understanding everything about your medication dosages is so important.

I’ve taken thyroid medication for a little over a year now after having my thyroid removed. During the past year I had used a local pharmacy to fill my medications located in a major grocery store and the pharmacists there had always been very knowledgeable and helpful. I had filled my thyroid medication one time last year at another pharmacy for logistical purposes, and needed to have the prescription transferred back to my “home” pharmacy so that I could get a refill of my medication.

I followed all the correct steps. I called my “home” regular pharmacy and gave them the prescription number of the prescription I was interested in transferring over to them. I also went over the prescribed dosage on the phone with the pharmacy technician and was told that they would “take care of it” and provided the phone number of the original issuing pharmacy. I even called the next day to make sure that everything was “taken care of” and that my medication was ready to be picked up. “Yes”, your medication is ready assured the girl who answered the phone. “Great”, I said, I’ll pick it up in a few minutes and drove down to the store. When I went to pay for the medicine the first thing I noticed is that the price seemed too low. I know, since when do we worry about medications not costing enough! But it was my first clue that something was amiss. So with people behind me I took a moment and first noticed that my prescription had been filled for only a 30 day supply and because of how prescriptions are written if I would have taken the 30 day supply, then I would have run out of refills for the year since my doctor had written the prescription so that I would have enough refills for the entire year. So the lady at the pharmacy hurriedly grabbed the bottle out of my hand and said they would “fix” it– before I had a chance to look more closely at the dosage on the bottle.

After waiting for another 15 minutes, my medication was now ready for the 2nd time. I again, opened the package and “checked” the bottle and was again discouraged to see that the prescription was filled with one (1) 30 mg tablet per day instead of the 180 mg dosage that I was supposed to get. So we were back to square one again and the pharmacy had to correct the error.

Bottom line folks is that if I had not “checked” I would have been taking 1/6th of the medication that I needed, and since I am now thyroid less, my body would not have been able to make the thyroid hormones that I need in order to maintain life. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Don’t “assume” anything when it comes to your healthcare or those of your loved ones.

Check your Medications and those of your loved ones: You need to make sure that you have the 1) Right Medication and the 2) Right Dosage

Moms – check your kids medications
Husbands and Wives – if your spouse is ill, check their medications
Grown Children caring for an Elderly Parent – Make it a priority, especially in these situations where someone is elderly and perhaps unable to understand or keep track of their dosages, that every time the medication is refilled that it is done correctly

You or your loved one’s life could depend on it.

Become an informed patient today!