Medication Allergy or Side Effect?
Most adverse drug reactions are not actually allergies but side effects. Because the symptoms of side effects and allergies are often similar, it is not always easy to distinguish between the two. Hives, for instance, can occur as a drug's side effect or they can result from an allergic reaction. To determine if a severe drug reaction is an allergic reaction, doctors generally perform tests. Some drugs, however, have well-known allergic reactions that are easily distinguishable from the drug's side effects. In such cases, determining whether or not the reaction is an allergic one is relatively simple.
Medication Allergies and the Law
Doctors can be held liable for a patient's allergic reaction if they prescribe medication without first determining, with sufficient certainty, whether the medication is safe for the patient. A doctor's failure to obtain patient history, perform allergy tests, or communicate clearly with patient, medical staff, or pharmacist can all potentially cause a patient to suffer a medication allergy.
Pharmacists may also be held liable for any mistakes they make that result in a patient's medication allergy. A pharmacist may misread or misinterpret the prescribing information, may accidentally provide the patient with the wrong prescription, or overlook a patient's medication allergy. The bottom line is that most mistakes that result in medication allergies are preventable.
If you or a loved one has suffered a medication allergy as a result of medical negligence or malpractice , you may be entitled to recover damages including pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and more. Please contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can answer all of your questions and help you maximize your legal rights.