Alan D. Bell Attorney at Law
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Some medications require ongoing oversight for patient safety

Modern medicine is amazing in many ways. Doctors can now diagnose conditions more effectively than in the past. There are new medicines coming out every day that can help people overcome serious illnesses or manage severe symptoms. Unfortunately, with that improvement in the ability to treat patients comes potential risk as well.

Every medication can cause side effects for patients. Some people are actually allergic to compounds used in certain drugs. Patients can end up suffering serious medical injury if their doctor is not proactive enough about continued oversight as the patient adjusts to a new medication. This includes monitoring use and potential for addiction to pain medication, as well as testing for issues with other prescriptions.

Certain medications can put patients at risk

Every drug has desirable and undesirable effects on the human body. Even over-the-counter cough medicine could result in drowsiness or other issues. People can discover a previously unknown allergy when taking a prescription medication or suffer from serious side-effects. Depending on the nature of the prescription in question, your doctor should follow up to ensure you receive the medical benefits without the worst side effects.

Certain prescription medicines can cause sudden organ failure or damage your kidneys or liver. In order to protect you from these issues, routine tests to establish healthy organ function may be necessary. Some drugs, like Acutane, could cause horrific birth defects if a patient continues taking it during pregnancy. To ensure safety and limit liability, monthly pregnancy tests may be necessary.

Even prescription antidepressants can have serious side effects, including violent impulses or suicidal ideation. Checking in with patients closely as they adapt to these medications can protect patients from a worst-case reaction to a medication.

Writing a prescription isn't the only thing a doctor should do

Not all people tolerate and respond to medications in the same way. Even if your doctor has prescribed the medicine in question to dozens or hundreds of people previously, he or she should still monitor your reactions carefully. Your physician should do the best he or she can to successfully identify and diagnose your condition. At that time, suggesting a prescription that could reduce your symptoms or treat the root cause is common.

However, your doctor isn't absolved of his or her Hippocratic Oath to do no harm when you head out to the pharmacy. Scheduling a follow-up appointment, performing tests to ensure your body tolerates the medication and providing in-depth information about side effects and potential complications to patients are all also important steps.

If you suffered an injury caused by a prescribed medication, some of the responsibility for that injury may belong to your doctor, especially if he or she failed to test you and adequately monitor you after prescribing the drug.

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Alan D. Bell
650 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 105
Bloomfield, NJ 07003

Phone: 973-233-4291
Phone: 973-743-7070

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