Talk to Your Pharmacist


While speaking with a consumer about a new prescription, a pharmacist noticed that a mistake had been made when interpreting the doctor's directions for taking the medicine. The patient's doctor had written a new prescription for Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) to treat pain.

The prescription had been filled by another pharmacist earlier in the day. The doctor's original prescription was kept with the medicine until it was picked up from the pharmacy. When the consumer came in to pick up his prescription, another pharmacist spoke with him about how to take the medicine. While talking to the consumer, the pharmacist noticed that the medicine label said to take the drug just once a day. The pharmacist became concerned because Vicodin is not usually taken only once daily.

When she compared the label to the prescription, she realized that the doctor had actually ordered Vicodin to be taken every 6 hours. The doctor's penmanship was poor, and the pharmacist on duty earlier in the day had misread the doctor's instructions. Be sure to talk with your pharmacist when you pick up any prescription. This allows an additional opportunity to uncover a mistake that may have occurred when filling your prescription. It also allows you an opportunity to ask questions about your medicine and to make sure you understand the directions for taking it. Your pharmacist is a helpful source of information and can give valuable advice about prescriptions, herbals, and over-the-counter medicines.

Created on January 1, 2008

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