There are several different types of pharmacy errors that can be made. First, sometimes your prescription can be completely switched with another whose medicine looks like yours. Also, some drugs come to the pharmacy in a high dose, and pharmacists must dilute these medications before they give them to you. In some cases, pharmacists may forget to lessen the strength of the medicine, giving you a dosage that is much too strong. Additionally, if the pharmacist does not monitor the side effects, it can result in serious health issues for you. Lastly, some medications can have adverse reactions with others, so if a pharmacist does not double-check your current prescriptions, it can harm you.
To protect yourself from pharmacy errors, there are some things that you can do to double-check the work of the pharmacists. First, when your doctor prescribes you a medicine, make sure you know what the medication is. You can write this down plus any administration information that the doctor gives you. Once you pick up the medication from the pharmacy, make sure the name on the label matches the name of the medicine that the doctor told you he or she prescribed for you.
Next, if you are getting a drug for the first time, you can look up pictures of the pill online. Once you pick up the prescription, you can see if the pills given you match the picture online. However, keep in mind that some medicines may look different since pharmacists may choose to give you generic drugs rather than the brand-name medication.
Lastly, if you are getting a refill, take a look at the medicine before you take it. It should perfectly match your last bottle of pills. Besides the color and shape, also take a look at the imprint on both sides of the pill, which differentiates between medicines with the same size, shape, and color.