Medication Safety Articles

 

Many people have lost weight using weight-loss medicines such as orlistat. Orlistat is the main ingredient in prescription strength Xenical (120 mg). It is also the main ingredient in the over-the-counter drug Alli (60 mg). Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed a number of reports of liver failure in people who take these medicines.

Is ordering medicines online safe for you and your family? Today, you can order just about anything online and have it delivered to your doorstep. The Internet makes it easy to shop around for the lowest priced item. So, searching for low cost medicines online is no exception. However, there are some dangers with purchasing medicines online. For example, Internet pharmacy sites that say “no prescription needed,” should not be used. Also, some medicines sold online:

Do you carefully read the label on your prescription bottle and look at the tablets before you take a dose of a new or refilled prescription medicine? Well, a 95-year-old woman did, and it helped to prevent a potentially serious mistake. Her doctor had recently increased the dose of her thyroid medicine. When she needed a refill, a staff person at her doctor's office mistakenly told the pharmacist to dispense the lower dose she had taken previously.

In a poison emergency, the first thing to do is not panic. Help is just a phone call away. The national Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 is your best resource to find out what to do in a poison emergency. The Poison Hotline is staffed by nurses and pharmacists experienced in toxicology who are referred to as CSPIs (certified specialists in poison information).

Reports show that seniors are at an increased risk for poisoning. Some experts estimate that half of all seniors mismanage at least one of their medications and that seniors are twice as likely as other patients to present to the emergency room as a result of drug safety issues, such as, confusion over multiple medications, skipped doses, or variances from recommended doses.

A pharmacy technician in a chain retail pharmacy issued the wrong medicines to a patient. The pharmacy uses a bin system for prescriptions awaiting pick-up and the technician accidentally selected the prescription in the bin next to the correct one. The first name of the two patients was exactly the same.

There are some asthma medications that come as powder-filled capsules. The powder inside though is meant to be breathed into the lungs using a special device called an inhaler.

Fentanyl is a very powerful pain reliever. It is only supposed to be prescribed for people with long-term (chronic) pain who have already been taking high doses of prescription opioid (narcotic) pain medicine for at least a week. Serious harm or death has resulted when this drug was taken in high doses by people who have not been taking other prescription opioid pain medicine for 7 days or more.

A pharmacy accidentally dispensed Carac (fluorouracil) cream (0.5%) instead of Kuric (ketoconazole) cream (2%). These products have similar-sounding names. The pharmacist thought the doctor said 'Carac' not 'Kuric,' when he listened to the doctor's voicemail message. Carac cream is used to treat pre-cancerous skin lesions of the face and scalp.

Metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets have been in short supply lately. This is a generic heart and blood pressure medicine used by many consumers. The companies that make this medicine had stopped producing it because of problems with the quality of the tablets. Although the problem is beginning to resolve, the medicine may not be available when consumers try to fill or refill their prescriptions.

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