Modern medicine often gives doctors many ways to treat illnesses and injuries. Prescription medication may cure a disease or alleviate its symptoms, making chronic conditions more manageable. Still, drug interactions may account for as many as 1% of hospitalizations, with the number increasing to as much as 5% for older Americans.
Drug interactions occur when two or more substances react with each other inside your system, causing you to develop potentially serious side effects or medical complications. Here are three reasons drug interactions commonly happen.
1. Insufficient information
Before prescribing medication, your doctor should understand your medical history. This includes both your medical conditions and the prescription, over-the-counter and other medication you take. If a physician does not have enough information, he or she may prescribe or recommend medication that interacts with a drug you are already taking.
2. Inadequate research
Often, doctors use different medications to treat a single medical condition or multiple health-related issues. If a doctor does not research possible drug interactions, he or she may prescribe medication with known drug interactions. Inadequate research, of course, may constitute medical malpractice.
3. Inconsistent metabolism
Patients do not always metabolize medication in the same way forever. Changes in diet, age, hydration, activity or physical health may change the way your body processes medication. Consequently, if your doctor does not perform diagnostic tests to check drug metabolism, you may be at increased risk for a drug interaction.
While drug interactions are not always deadly, they routinely cause individuals to suffer additional harm. Accordingly, if you have sustained an interaction injury or illness due to inconsistent metabolism or anything else, you may be able to pursue financial compensation from the doctor who caused it.