Cold and Flu Season: Watch for Medical Errors

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Fall and winter mark the start of cold and flu season which is never a fun time for anyone. We invest in multiple boxes of Kleenex, and purchase extra bottles of cough and cold medicine, along with the medication to help us sleep through the night. Along with the average cold and flu also come unique strains of viruses that pop up this time of year. The viruses can tend to linger longer, and make life miserable, in general. How do you know when something just feels different than it has in the past, and what do you need to tell your doctor so you are prescribed the correct medication?

Prescriptions and doctor errors happen all the time; some are serious and some are quickly rectified. But any error could be a cause for concern if you are not knowledgeable about your prescription or how it may interact with other medications you might be taking. If you experience symptoms of a cold or flu that require you to seek medical attention, here are some words of caution:

  • Never take yourself off any current medications on your own. Continue to take the medications currently prescribed to you before you take any over the counter medication. If your throat hurts too much to swallow any current medications, your illness is probably severe enough to require medicate attention to bring down the swelling.
  • Get a flu shot as soon as the season starts. Never get a flu shot when you are already sick as flu shots are a proactive form of treatment to help lessen the symptoms of a cold or flu once you have it. If you already have the flu when you get the shot, your illness will become worse and linger longer.
  • Ask questions about any new prescriptions that your doctor prescribes to you, and be sure to let him know any and all medications and supplements you are on before you take what has been prescribed of your flu or cold. Some medications will cause a reaction with what you are taking, others will not. Be on the safe side and ask.
  • Wear a mask when out in public. This might look a little silly, but half the people you encounter will never be seen by you again and taking your health in your hands is your best defense against catching a cold or flu.
  • Stay away from others who are sick. Viruses can spread very easily depending on the incubation period, and if you are in the line of fire from a sneezer or cougher, you may be next in line.
  • If you have been prescribed a medication, and start to feel abnormal outside of the general side effects that are associated with that drug, week medical attention immediately so your doctor can adjust what has been prescribed, or what you are currently taking,

Colds and viruses are common, or they can be deadly when not treated properly. If you feel you have exacerbated your illness from a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, or feel you have been taking the wrong medication for your symptoms, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney who can handle a case of improperly prescribed medication or doctor error.

Staying well this holiday season includes physical health and mental health in all forms. Having someone on your side to help you settle is just what you need to make it through the season.