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Advertised precautions are always given with over the counter and prescription drugs, however, the increasing number of medications on the market is breeding a new threat with similar names of products confusing health professionals and patients alike. Names of drugs that resemble other drug names used to treat different ailments are causing medication errors that have deadly results. For example, a patient who had bipolar disorder was admitted to hospital where he was given the wrong medication, Librium, a sedative, instead of Lithium, a mood stabilizer. He died 4 days later after receiving an overdose of Librium, a mistake made by the pharmacist, who recognized his error and attempted to inform the man's nurse, but later forgot. The hospital claims that pneumonia took the patient's life and not the drug error. Pharmacists are being encouraged to become more aware of the issue and implement strategies to avoid further mistakes.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Newsinferno.com
About: Increasing number of medications risks mix-up
Date: 28 November 2005
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