Medication errors come in many forms, and they often occur when a doctor initially prescribes a drug. However, mistakes can also happen while a patient receives a medication or when it is time to stop their treatment.
Doctors often need to be very careful about ending someone’s use of a specific drug because of the physical and chemical dependence the drug may create. Tapering is the term for slowly reducing someone’s dosage to safely stop a medication.
What drugs required tapering?
There are several types of medications that can cause massive side effects if patients suddenly stop using them. In some cases, the adverse reactions can be severe enough to warrant hospitalization.
Certain psychiatric drugs, like Effexor, can lead to withdrawal symptoms a drastic shift in mood that lasts for weeks if people stop using the medication all at once. The same is true for steroids, like prednisone. Opioid pain medications and muscle relaxants can also be very difficult for people to quit without slowly reducing their dosage.
Ideally, doctors would discuss the need to taper the medications when they initially prescribe the drugs. They would also follow up with the patient at the end of their treatment to ensure that they have begun stepping down their dosage.
The failure of physicians to properly oversee the use of narcotic pain relievers and other medications may directly contribute to dangerous substance abuse habits developing in certain individuals and a host of other potentially consequential negative side effects. Those who have experienced negative medical outcomes and financial losses caused by improperly administered drugs may have grounds for a malpractice lawsuit.
Learning more about best practices for drug administration could help people identify when physicians have not conformed to that standard. Under such circumstances, those who have experienced harm can benefit from seeking legal guidance.