Older woman wearing yellow checks her prescription at home and realizes there has been an error.
Medication errors can cause serious consequences and require swift action
April 3, 2024
April 5, 2024

A Pharmacy Gave Me the Wrong Medication: What Do I Do?

In the whirlwind of today's healthcare system, errors can occur, sometimes with severe consequences. Learn about the danger of pharmaceutical error, and what you can do about it.

Discovering that the pharmacy has given you the wrong medication can be a terrifying experience, leaving you with questions about your health, legal rights, and recourse.

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In this article, the legal minds at Pierce Skrabanek delve into the complexities surrounding medication errors. We will explore how securing legal representation from an injury lawyer can be a crucial step in seeking justice and compensation for the harm caused. 

From understanding your rights to navigating the legal process, we'll provide insights and guidance to help you make informed decisions during this challenging time. Contact us directly at (832) 690-7000 if you have specific questions or need immediate legal assistance. 

Read on to better understand the dangers of medication errors, and what compensation for a pharmacy error lawsuit could do to help you.

What To Do if a Pharmacy Gives the Wrong Medication (5 Steps to Take)

Here is a general outline of some proactive steps you can take if you realize a pharmacy has given you the wrong medication:

  1. Stop Taking the Medication Immediately: The first and most critical step is to cease taking the wrong medication as soon as you realize the error. Continuing to take the incorrect medication could exacerbate health issues or lead to adverse effects.
  2. Contact Your Healthcare Provider: Inform your healthcare provider or the prescribing physician about the error. They can provide guidance on how to proceed, including whether any immediate medical intervention is necessary and if a correct prescription needs to be issued.
  3. Notify the Pharmacy: Reach out to the pharmacy that dispensed the wrong medication and inform them of the error. Provide details about the medication received, the prescription it was intended to fulfill, and when you discovered the mistake. This helps the pharmacy investigate and prevent similar errors in the future.
  4. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of the incident. This should include the name and location of the pharmacy, the medication received, and any conversations or correspondence with healthcare providers and the pharmacy staff. Also note any adverse effects experienced as a result of the error. Documentation of the timeline could be necessary for later medical interventions. This evidence will also be crucial if you decide to pursue legal action or seek compensation.
  5. Report the Incident and Consider Legal Options: Consider reporting the medication error to relevant regulatory authorities, such as the state board of pharmacy or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Reporting helps to hold the pharmacy accountable and may prevent similar errors in the future. If you or your loved one were personally harmed by the medication error, you may want to explore legal options for the costs and losses you’ve endured (see below for more details on potential injuries and compensation). 

Encountering a pharmaceutical error can be unsettling, but knowing how to respond can make a significant difference in protecting your health and rights. By following these steps promptly and diligently, you can reduce the damaging impact of the error, and take appropriate actions to seek a safe resolution.

Consult with a qualified attorney experienced in medical malpractice or personal injury law to discuss your case and determine the best course of action. Reach out to Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 for a free, fully confidential appointment to explore your options.

Pharmacy Dispensed the Wrong Medication: What Are the Dangers?

Pharmacy errors can lead to a range of injuries and adverse effects, depending on factors such as the type of medication involved, the dosage administered, and the patient's individual health status. Some common injuries caused by pharmacy errors include:

  • Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs): Administering the wrong medication or dosage can lead to adverse drug reactions, which may range from mild to severe. These reactions can include allergic reactions, gastrointestinal disturbances, dizziness, headaches, and more serious effects such as organ damage or failure.
  • Medication Toxicity or Overdose: Providing an incorrect dosage of medication, particularly for drugs with narrow therapeutic indices, can result in medication toxicity or overdose. This can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, respiratory depression, seizures, and in severe cases, coma or death.
  • Drug Interactions: Failure to identify potential drug interactions can lead to adverse effects ranging from mild to severe. Effects can include potentiation or inhibition of drug effects, increased risk of bleeding or clotting, changes in blood pressure or heart rhythm, and organ damage.
  • Delayed or Inadequate Treatment: Dispensing the wrong medication or failing to provide the correct medication in a timely manner can result in delayed or inadequate treatment of the patient's underlying condition. This can lead to worsening of symptoms, disease progression, and increased risk of complications.
  • Psychological and Emotional Distress: Pharmacy errors can also have psychological and emotional effects on patients, including anxiety, stress, fear, and distrust of healthcare providers. These effects can impact the patient's overall well-being and may require additional support and intervention.

It's important to note that the specific injuries caused by pharmacy errors can vary widely depending on the circumstances of each case. In severe cases, pharmacy errors can lead to life-threatening complications or permanent harm to the patient. Prompt identification and management of pharmacy errors are essential to minimize the risk of injury and ensure patient safety.

A Pharmacy Gave Me the Wrong Medication: Lawsuit Compensation

The potential lawsuit compensation for pharmacy errors can vary widely depending on factors. These can include the severity of harm caused to the patient, the extent of negligence demonstrated by the pharmacy or pharmacist, and the jurisdiction's legal framework. 

Compensation sought in pharmacy error lawsuits typically covers various damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses: This can encompass all current and future medical expenses related to treating the injuries caused by the pharmacy error. Examples include hospital bills, medication costs, rehabilitation expenses, and any necessary ongoing medical care.
  • Lost Income: If the pharmacy error results in the patient being unable to work due to injuries or medical treatment, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or income.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation may be awarded for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish experienced by the patient as a result of the pharmacy error and its consequences.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the pharmacy's actions are deemed particularly egregious or reckless, punitive damages or “punishment fees” may be ordered to deter similar conduct in the future.
  • Wrongful Death: If a pharmacy error results in the death of the patient, their family members may pursue compensation for wrongful death. This can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and compensation for the emotional impact of their loved one's death.

The amount of compensation awarded in pharmacy error lawsuits can vary greatly and is often determined based on factors such as the severity of the harm and the evidence presented.

When pursuing legal recourse, it's essential to consult with an experienced attorney with proven results. The pharmacy medication error attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek are fully prepared to provide you with your options for seeking compensation, and represent you through the entirety of your case.

Contact Pharmacy & Medication Error Attorneys

Pharmacy errors pose significant risks to patients and can result in a wide range of injuries, complications, and adverse effects. From dispensing the wrong medication or dosage to failing to identify drug interactions or providing inadequate instructions, these errors can have serious consequences for patient health and well-being.

As legal professionals, it's crucial to recognize the gravity of pharmacy errors and the impact they can have on individuals and families. Seeking justice and compensation for victims of pharmacy errors is essential to hold negligent parties accountable and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a pharmacy error, it's important to seek guidance from an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options for seeking justice. Contact Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 for personalized help — together we can work to ensure your safety is prioritized above all else.

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