If I make a mistake when taking the drug, should I report my error?

Well, that happens, even to healthcare professionals. Sometimes it is because the information on the package is unclear or confusing, or the package leaflet can be misleading. When this contributes to an error, such as taking too much of the drug, or too little, or not the right drug,  by reporting it you can inform the authorities in charge who may compare the different packages or notices you have, and propose changes.

EudraVigilance is a system designed for collecting reports of suspected side effects. These reports are used for evaluating the benefits and risks of medicines during their development and monitoring their safety following their authorisation in the European Economic Area (EEA). It has been in use since December 2001.
The European Database of Suspected Adverse Drug Reactions Reports http://www.adrreports.eu


For example, a third of older adults in England have difficulties reading and understanding basic health related written information. Poorer understanding is associated with higher mortality1 .

Some medicines have slightly different names. Consider for example TEGRETOL LP 400 mg (carbamazepine) and TERALITHE LP 400 mg (lithium). The packs look different, but if you store the blisters in a drawer you can easily mistake one for the other. The size of the writing on the blister is very small.

two different medicines that share a common indication

Two different medicines that share a common indication. A patient could have both boxes at home and easily mistake one for the other. This can provoke side effects such as confusion. When this happens, and when it is reported,  pharmacovigilance authorities can propose actions (make the blister completely different, or change the name of one of the medicines, etc.)

1 Association between low functional health literacy and mortality in older adults: longitudinal cohort study
Sophie Bostock, Andrew Steptoe. BMJ 2012;344:e1602

Page created: 16/01/2013
Page last updated: 07/11/2014
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