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4 Ways To Prevent A Common Medication Mix-Up
The names of more than 1,400 drugs are frighteningly similar to those of others, creating potentially troubling confusion, according to a study by the United States Pharmacopeia, a scientific organization. Here are four ways to avoid this simple mistake, plus several common drug soundalikes—all of which have been dispensed incorrectly and actually harmed patients, according to USP.
1. Copy down the drug name and dosageon a separate sheet of paper from your prescription and read it back to your doctor to confirm. Check this information against the pill bottle with your pharmacist present. (You're entitled by law to receive free pharmacy counseling every time you begin a new medication.)
MORE:The Supplement-Medication Combo You Need To Avoid
2. Confirm a generic's brand-name equivalentand indication with your pharmacist after receiving your meds; many prescriptions are filled with generics, meaning the drug name on a bottle label could be different from the one your physician wrote down.
3. Verify the medication's "indication for use"(the symptoms it treats) on the information sheet most pharmacies include with medications.
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