Watching for Potential Pharmacy Errors

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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. Count the number of pills before you take any to ensure that the correct amount was dispensed.

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. Often times there is a description of the pill or capsule on the side of the bottle.

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.