When Louisiana residents receive a prescription, they usually expect that their doctor has written them an appropriate dosage for the correct medicine. Sometimes errors happen, though, and it is important for people to know what they should do when they learn there is something wrong with their prescription.

Medication errors can happen for a number of reasons. The World Health Organization says that some medicines have similar names and packaging and this can cause some pharmacists to reach for the wrong medication. Additionally, sometimes medical professionals may need to process several prescriptions in a short period of time and if they are distracted when filling out prescriptions, they may make a mistake. Additionally, medication errors can happen if doctors and their patients do not have good communication. Some doctors may also not understand all of the risks of certain medicines or they may not have enough knowledge of a patient’s medical background. In this situation, a medical professional might prescribe the wrong medication or dose.

It is important for people to be proactive about their health. The Mayo Clinic says that when patients first receive a prescription, they should ask questions to help them understand the medicine. People should typically ask how a medicine might interact with other prescriptions and what they should do if they miss a dose. It is also important to ask about potential side effects. People may also want to make sure they know the generic name of the medicine. This allows them to take action if they think the name of a medicine does not sound quite right.

One of the best ways people can prevent medication errors from occurring is to make sure their doctor knows all of their health information. People should usually know what medication they are allergic to, as well as the names and dosages of all the prescriptions they take on a regular basis. Additionally, it is important for people to tell medical professionals about chronic health problems so their doctor can make sure that he or she does not prescribe a medicine that might make these problems worse.