Every day, millions of Americans rely on prescription medications to prevent, control, and treat a variety of injuries, illnesses and diseases. Medicines treating health conditions such as depression and anxiety, high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, thyroid issues, and diabetes are among the most commonly prescribed medications, and many people take prescription drugs to treat infections and to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with various illnesses and injuries. If you are one of the millions of people currently taking prescription medication, you need to be aware of the side effects and potential problems associated with taking these medicines. Injuries caused by medication errors and dangerous drugs occur with alarming frequency, and can cause untold suffering and result in serious injuries.
Dangerous Prescription Drugs
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), over four million prescriptions for medication are written each year in the United States. Unfortunately, as increasing numbers of people have been prescribed and use these medications, reports of dangerous effects due to prescription drugs have also risen. As these reports come in, the FDA strives to warn the general public of potential dangers. Recent warnings have included the following:
- Potential risks to children prescribed cough and cold medicine containing codeine;
- Permanent skin discoloration for using the Daytrana Patch to treat ADHD;
- Potential vision loss associated with the anti-seizure medicine Potiga;
- Allergic reactions caused by Feraheme, used to treat anemia; and
- The onset of blood conditions requiring hospitalization as a result of SGLT 2 inhibitors, prescribed to treat diabetes.
The list of potentially dangerous drugs is extensive and grows larger every day. In the interests of public safety, the FDA provides consumers a list of safety alerts involving dangerous and recalled drugs. These drugs are known to cause serious health effects requiring hospitalization, and may lead to permanent disability and even death.
While some drugs are dangerous in and of themselves, other drugs only have the potential to cause damage when they are prescribed in error. According to the Mayo Clinic, medication errors occur as the result of mistakes in prescribing, dispensing, and administering prescription medication. The damages due to harmful drug interactions and medication overdose can be dramatic and life threatening, often resulting in permanent damage to body organs such as the heart, liver, or kidneys. Common causes of medication errors include:
- Lack of communication between healthcare providers;
- Lack of communication between providers and patients; and
- Medication names that sound alike or have similar abbreviations.
These types of errors are also common in hospital settings. These errors often involve giving prescribed medicine to the wrong patient, overdosing due to lack of communication at shift change, and medical staff being unaware of the medication a patient is currently prescribed.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Unfortunately, injuries due to dangerous drugs and medications errors occur with increasing frequency and cause serious and potentially life threatening damages. If you or a loved one has suffered adverse effects due to medication errors or dangerous drugs, contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys. At Hogan Frick, we have offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, and we are prepared to assist you today.