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More people are making mistakes with medicines at home

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A new study published in <i>Clinical Toxicology</i> indicates that medication errors at home, such as taking the wrong dose or taking a tablet too frequently, are on the rise. Researchers examined just a small portion of the errors that happen in the country every year, analyzing data collected by U.S.

A new study published in Clinical Toxicology indicates that medication errors at home, such as taking the wrong dose or taking a tablet too frequently, are on the rise. Researchers examined just a small portion of the errors that happen in the country every year, analyzing data collected by U.S. poison control centers and including only medication errors that occurred outside of health care facilities and resulted in serious medical outcomes. They discovered that the incidence of these cases doubled, from 3,065 cases in 2000 to 6,855 cases in 2012, with a total of more than 67,000 such errors over the 13-year study period. Nichole Hodges, a research scientist at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH, and the study's lead author, says errors at home are a major public health burden and are likely underestimated. The number of errors with cardiovascular drugs doubled during the study time period, while errors tied to hormones and hormone antagonists, mainly drugs used to treat diabetes, more than tripled. Hodges says they believe that some of these increases in errors are a reflection of the increase in prescribing of cardiovascular medications and the use of insulin. Cardiovascular drugs and analgesics were responsible for two-thirds of the 414 deaths included in the study.

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http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/12/536519077/took-the-wrong-medicine-by-mistake-study-finds-such-errors-are-on-the-rise

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