When your child isn’t feeling well, you may assume that he or she has a cold. But after your child is sick for about two weeks, you take him to the doctor begging for antibiotics to cure your child. Sometimes, doctors provide children with antibiotics because they know that if it is a cold, the child will get better anyways over time. Instead of fighting a parent on why he isn’t giving the child a prescription, he writes out a prescription for antibiotics. However, here’s what you need to know the next time your child is prescribed antibiotics:
- Doctors hand out antibiotics like candy; too many children are receiving antibiotics for their viral infections, colds, viral sore throats, and other illnesses that don’t respond to antibiotics. Unfortunately, many kids are getting too many antibiotics, which cause the following: increase a child’s resistance to antibiotics so that the child may need stronger antibiotics the next time, expose a child to the side effects of the drug, and contribute to the overuse of antibiotics that has led to bacteria strains resistant to antibiotics. Giving a child an antibiotic when it is not needed will only kill the good bacteria in a child’s system.
- The chances of a pharmacy error increase. Every time you fill a prescription, there is a chance that your child’s medication could get mixed up at the pharmacy. Because pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are humans and make mistakes, children could be given someone else’s prescription, given an adult’s dose of the right medication, or given the wrong medication entirely. These child medication errors occur when pharmacists misplace decimal points, assume a medication is for an adult, don’t read prescriptions carefully, or are in a hurry and grab medication intended for another patient.
If your doctor prescribes your child antibiotics, ask your doctor if it is truly necessary. If your child has a bacterial infection, then a dose of antibiotics may help your child recover. Make sure you check your child’s prescription at the pharmacy. Request a pharmacist consultation to confirm that the pharmacy filled the correct dose for your child, and read the prescription label to ensure your child’s name and information appear correct prior to giving your child the antibiotic. Also, confirm that the name of the drug matches the name of the prescription your doctor gave you. If it doesn’t match, don’t just assume you received the generic version of the drug. Ask the pharmacist to make sure your child received the correct medication. And, as always, ensure your child takes the full course of antibiotics even if he seems to be getting better. When a child stops antibiotics midcourse, bacteria can linger and cause your child to become sick again.
If your child was given the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medication, you have rights. Call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. to speak with an experienced pharmacy error lawyer. Call 888-526-7616 for a free consultation and a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.