When you go to the doctor for treatment and get a prescription, you expect that the medication will help you get better, not worse. Unfortunately, some patients do experience adverse side effects to certain medications.
While not all adverse drug reactions are preventable, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimates that about half of all adverse drug events are. Our team discusses more below.
The Risks of Adverse Drug Reactions
Doctors and all medical professionals have a legal obligation to ensure that the medications being administered to their patients are safe. When they fail to uphold this duty, they could face a medical malpractice claim and, more importantly, their patients could face dangerous and potentially deadly side effects.
Some reasons why medications cause adverse reactions may involve a patient’s health, current medications, or the wrong dosage. Additionally, there are a few common errors among medical professionals that lead to adverse drug events, including:
- Lack of communication errors between clinicians
- Communication errors between medical personnel and patient
- Mixup of medications names
- Medical staff fatigue due to understaffing
Allergic reactions to medications can also lead to severe reactions, such as anaphylactic shock. This condition can be fatal, and some of the warning signs include increased heart rate, confusion, respiratory difficulties, vomiting and diarrhea, fainting, and decreased blood pressure. Types of medications that commonly cause allergic reactions include:
- Antibiotics -- amoxicillin (Moxatag), ampicillin, penicillin (Bicillin L-A), tetracycline, and others
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen
- Sulfa drugs
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Monoclonal antibody therapy -- cetuximab (Erbitux), rituximab (Rituxian and others)
- HIV drugs -- abacavir (Ziagen), nevirapine (Viramune), and others
- Antiseizure drugs -- carbamazepine (Tegretol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), phenytoin, and others
- Muscle relaxers given by IV -- atracurium, succinylcholine, or vecuronium
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you or a loved one experienced adverse drug reactions due to a doctor’s negligence, you may have legal rights to file a claim in order to be compensated for the harm you incurred. The medical malpractice attorneys at Angel Law, P.C. have been representing medical malpractice victims for decades.
Don’t wait to get started—the sooner you contact an attorney at our firm, the sooner we can ensure that your case is built on solid ground.
Contact our Portland medical malpractice attorneys at (503) 862-8666 to schedule your free consultation today.