Painkillers, Prescription Drugs, and OTC Medication Errors Can Cause Accidental Death
Currently, over 80 percent of American adults take at least one medication and 29 percent of these people take five or more medications, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. In some cases, the combining of multiple drugs can result in adverse drug reactions (also called adverse drug events), which can be dangerous or fatal, and may lead to subsequent litigation.
Adverse Drug Reactions And Events Are On The Rise
Every year, approximately 700,000 emergency department visits and 120,000 hospitalizations are caused by adverse drug interactions and reactions. These adverse drug events are expected to grow in the coming years because of:
– The development of new medications;
– The discovery of new uses for previously existing drugs;
– An increase in the use of medications to prevent or reduce the effects of diseases or their symptoms;
– Increased health care insurance coverage for prescription medications; and
– The general increased age of the American population.
Common Toxic Drug Combinations
While medications and drugs can provide great relief to those suffering from various injuries, ailments, and pain, they can also cause even greater suffering if they are taken in incorrect amounts or improper combinations.
Recent reports highlight some drug combinations and multiple prescription combinations that can cause potential physical, mental, or emotional harm. Some of these combinations include:
Antidepressants And Painkillers (SSRIS And Opioids)– a combination of these two drugs can cause the body to receive too much serotonin, causing agitation, high body temperature, and rapid heart rate and increased breath rate.
Painkillers And Anti-Anxiety Medications (Opioids And Benzodiazepines)– both of these drugs act as depressants but can lower heart rate and breathing rate to dangerous levels
Cholesterol Lowering Drugs And Antifungal Medication (Statins And Fluconazole)– A combination of these drugs can cause muscle weakness or kidney damage
Painkillers And Anti-Anxiety Medications And Muscle Relaxers (Opioids And Benzodiazepines And Carisoprodol)– this combination can cause respiratory problems and lead to death.
Even simple pain medications such as acetaminophen can be dangerous in too high of a dose. As highlighted by a recent Consumer Reports expose, acetaminophen can prove toxic if maximum recommended dosages are exceeded by even a little bit. Taking one large dose or repeat doses in small amounts can add up to an amount of drug in the body that can cause an individual to exceed the maximum daily dosage amount. This can result in brain, kidney, and liver problems, which can result in death or the need for a liver transplant.
Holding Someone Responsible For Adverse Drug Events
Medication can be prescribed in many settings, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and nursing homes.
Depending on the particular circumstance, a medication error or adverse drug reaction can be the basis of a medical malpractice or product liability lawsuit against a prescribing or treating physician, a nurse who dispenses the drug, a pharmacist who improperly dispenses the drug, a hospital that improperly maintains the supply chain for the drug, or the drug manufacturer if the drug is a dangerous product.
When a patient is adversely affected by a medication error or drug interaction, our medical malpractice attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks are ready to investigate what happened and fight for maximum compensation for any injuries and damages that were sustained because of the negligence of the responsible parties. Call us today at (866) 346-4186 to speak to one of our experienced Tallahassee prescription medication lawyers. Your call is confidential.