Is Your Prescription Safe? - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Is Your Prescription Safe?

Lesley Brown, Pharmacist Lesley Brown, Pharmacist
Tiffany Shadle is a Registered Nurse Practitioner Tiffany Shadle is a Registered Nurse Practitioner

It happens to one-point-five million Americans every year...getting the wrong prescription from their pharmacist. Most often it's just an honest mistake, but it's one that could have serious consequences.

Imagine this...you're doctor calls in a prescription for Penicillin, so you go to the pharmacy and pick up the medicine. It's safe to assume you've actually gotten Penicillin, right? Wrong. But have no fear.... Making sure you really do get what you should is easy - it just takes a few minutes and it could save your life.

As a pharmacist, Lesley Brown knows a thing or two about accidentally giving customers the wrong prescription. She's even done it once herself and says pharmacists are only human and unfortunately, errors will occur. "It's probably unavoidable, with some pharmacies being so busy and understaffed, it's bound to happen, unfortunately."

One foolproof way to protect yourself...check out the number printed on the pill. In most cases, there is a four digit number on the prescription label. That three of four digit number should match the number printed on the capsule itself."

Brown's pharmacy recently started using what they call the Clear RX system, in hopes of making it easier for you to know exactly what medicine you're taking. "We've redesigned the bottle so it's a flat surface, that way it's easier to see the label with the medicine name and instructions right there all at once."

Mix-ups often happen simply because pharmacists can't read the doctor's handwriting, but that's all changing with many doctors moving to an electronic system, which they think will make a huge difference. Tiffany Shadle is a Registered Nurse Practitioner who says "I think we'll have a lot less calls from pharmacists about prescription errors."

There are several websites online that help you look up information about your medication and can help you tell if you're taking the right thing. You can check out any of the following sites: http://www.drugs.com/pill_identification.html, http://www.rxlist.com/pill-identification-tool/article.htm, and www.webmd.com.

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