We all know that every pharmacy has made mistakes. It's not uncommon for a pharmacy to fill 400 prescriptions in one day, or as many as 1,000. This gives a pharmacist two minutes or less to spend on a script. Sometimes, drugs that sound alike are placed on shelves directly next to each other. Another cause of error is that names are confused, or dosages are misinterpreted. There are things you can do to protect yourself and your family from medication misfills and mistakes. 1. Look at What You've Got Always make sure your medicine looks right. Are these the same yellow pills you've been taking for the last year, or do they look different? Notice the shape, the color, and the markings on the pills. 2. Check for Recalls/Interactions It can take 180 days for a recalled medication to show up in a pharmacy's data banks. Some pharmacies don't update their databases as quickly as they could, or should. Look in places that are reputable for information about your medicine. You can look up side effects or drug interactions to include herbs and over-the-counter medicines. Look up the side effects yourself - this can save you from being the victim of an egregious pharmacy error. 3. If You Discover a Mistake If you look up your medications and they don't look right, or they are not marked right, or if you discover an interaction the pharmacy missed, print out your findings, if you can, and take it with you to the pharmacy. Return the medicine and exchange it for what you were supposed to get, or wait while the doctor's office is called and your prescription is filled. 4. If you have already taken this incorrect medication, proceed to the nearest emergency room, with ALL of your medications. Document your troubles as much as you can. Get copies of your emergency department records, and the records of any hospital stay you may have as result of the error. Remember that medication mistakes can kill so don't put it off because you think it's not a big deal. As soon as you get home from the hospital, call a competent attorney to protect your rights. Don't talk to the pharmacy. Don't talk to their insurance adjusters, and don't sign anything before you talk to a lawyer. Pharmacy error victims: You Have Rights. Learn them by ordering our free book. If you or your loved one has been the victim of pharmacy malpractice, you have rights. You have the right to have your damages covered and the right to be compensated for lost wages and other losses that are due to pharmacy error. You also have resources. Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors," to get educated on your rights when a pharmacy error occurs. You can also call our office for a free case review: 888-526-7616.