When Medications Are Mislabeled at the Pharmacy

mis-labled medication harms patientsPrescription labels serve to tell customers about the medication they are taking. The label should include the name of the drug, the dose, and the instructions. Generally, a pamphlet about the drug’s potential side effects is inserted into the bag with the pill container as well. All of this information is critical for a person to have before leaving the pharmacy in order to ensure the medication will be taken correctly, and it is a pharmacist’s job to make sure a patient has the correct information.

Sometimes, however, a bottle of medication may get mislabeled by a negligent pharmacist or pharmacy technician. Mislabeling errors can include:

  • Missing instructions or insufficient warnings. Many medications need to be taken with food, require no sun exposure, or have another specific requirement that a patient needs to know about. When medication instructions such as these are missing, a person may take the drug incorrectly and may not understand the harmful side effects that can occur.
  • Wrong directions. Pharmacists occasionally type the wrong directions on the prescription bottle label. For instance, the prescription could have been written for a pill to be taken three times a week, but a pharmacist typed up the directions to read three times a day. Or maybe the prescription dose was for ten milligrams weekly instead of daily or vice versa. Sadly, the consequences can be serious when directions are incorrect.
  • Incorrect dose. If a patient is picking up two medications, it is possible that a pharmacy could have filled the correct medications but placed them in the wrong bottles or put the wrong labels on the bottles, switching the two medications. Consequently, this can result in a patient taking the wrong dose of the right medication, resulting in an overdose or under dose.

When a pharmacist provides the wrong directions or insufficient instructions, it can result in someone taking more than double the prescribed dose or less of a dose than intended. In either event, serious harm can come to a patient due to the labeling error. If you suffered unnecessary injuries and medical bills as a result of a pharmacy error, you should consult with an experienced attorney to learn about your rights. We welcome your call and will provide you with a complimentary consultation.