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Avoiding adverse drug events with five steps

Four out of five adults in Oklahoma and across the U.S. take prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs or supplements at least once a week. Moreover, around one-third of all adults simultaneously take five or more medications. One can easily see how this can create a risk for injuries as drugs combine in adverse ways. The following five tips, though, can help patients avoid medication errors and adverse events.

It starts with the correct use of those medications one is taking. For example, one should not chew non-chewable pills or cut pills without a doctor's prior approval. One should use a measuring spoon or, as the case may be, syringe for accurate dosages rather than ordinary silverware.

The second tip is to know the right dosage from the start since this can differ between children and adults as well as between adults of different physical attributes. Third, patients should always be honest about weight and know their height in metric units.

Fourth, patients can create a list of all the medications they are taking and give this to their doctor. They may even go to the same pharmacy for all prescriptions. Lastly, they should consider a follow-up visit with their doctor, who can check for any side effects that are recognizable only through lab testing.

Sometimes, those who take medications may harm others more than themselves. For example, those who take drowsiness-inducing medicine may head out on the road and wind up causing car accidents. In such cases, they will clearly be held at fault and open the way for personal injury cases. Oklahoma allows plaintiffs to recover damages as long as their own degree of fault does not exceed that of the defendant. Those who think they have a strong case may wish to talk with a lawyer.

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