If you’ve ever experienced a medical issue after a drug interaction, you know firsthand how scary it can be. Drug interactions can range from mild, such as rendering one of the medications ineffective, to possibly fatal. You rely on your health care provider to pay careful attention to your medical history and any medications you are already on. But what happens when your doctor makes a mistake? Depending on the circumstances, you may have some legal options.
It is your physician’s job to take a thorough medical history and be aware of any medications you are currently taking, whether they are prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines. Some drugs can also interact negatively with certain foods or drinks. Whenever you are prescribed a new medication, your physician should let you know whether there are any possible interaction issues as well as what to be on the lookout for as far as signs of an interaction or negative side effects.
Some of the most common dangerous drug interactions include:
- Mixing antidepressants with over-the-counter antihistamines, pain killers, and certain vitamins like St. John’s Wart
- Mixing certain blood pressure medications with prescription heart rhythm medications or over-the-counter decongestants
- Mixing statins (cholesterol medication) with oral yeast infection medications, vitamin B supplements and grapefruit juice
- Mixing certain anticoagulants with drugs such as aspirin
If your doctor prescribed you a medication that is known to have harmful effects when combined with a medication you were already taking, or failed to warn you about food and drink restrictions, he or she may be liable for any harm caused.
Any time a health care provider makes a mistake that causes you harm, you may have legal recourse. Because your legal options are dependent on your specific set of circumstances it is important to talk with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after the incident. An attorney can help you better understand your situation and how the relevant laws and guidelines may apply.