Although prescription medications are a popular treatment option for many conditions, those medications are not without their risks. In fact, some medical mistakes with prescription medications can even lead to death. If you have a loved one who is taking a prescription medication, it's important that you understand how you can protect your family from the dangers of accidental death due to medication errors.

Create and Maintain a Medication List

Particularly for people taking multiple medications, having an updated medication list is important. Spend some time with your loved one to create a list that includes the name of the medication, the dosage, what the medication is taken to treat and who the prescribing doctor is. When creating the list, don't overlook any over-the-counter medications or vitamin supplements, because those can interact with prescription medications, too.

Make sure that every doctor your family member sees is provided with a copy of this list, and update it any time a prescription is changed. In addition, bring a copy on every trip to the pharmacy for refills, because the pharmacist may need it to identify potential interactions. In addition, providing this list to everyone involved any time something changes also provides you with proof that everyone knew what your family member was taking, which is important in situations where you need evidence for a wrongful death suit.

Make Sure Prescription Information Is Clear

Any time your family member gets a new prescription, make sure that the information from the doctor is perfectly clear. This will help reduce the risk of errors due to misreading the prescription. While most doctors will send prescriptions via email or electronic transmission, some doctors still prefer to write them. Make sure the handwriting is clear enough to reduce the chance of error. In addition, consider taking a picture of (or photocopying) the prescription before you fill it. That way, you have record of it if the clarity is called into question.

You should also make a point to ask questions when you take your loved one to the doctor. The more you understand about prescriptions, the easier it will be for you to identify mistakes before an accident can happen.

Read the Medication Inserts

The inserts that come with prescriptions contain a lot of important information about the medication, side effects and things to watch for. Read the inserts any time your loved one gets a new prescription, because this will help you explain to him or her what to be attentive to in terms of symptoms and issues.

The more proactive you are about helping your loved one understand their medications, the more likely you'll be to spot a medication error before it leads to disaster. These tips will help, but make sure you reach out to a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible if you do lose your loved one due to a medication error. If you need assistance, an attorney like those at Shaevitz Shaevitz & Kotzamanis may be able to help.