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How can weight errors contribute to wrong medicine dosage?

As a patient, you want your physician to prescribe the right medicine for your condition. Additionally, you need the correct dosage for your medication or you might suffer serious health problems or even death. One reason dosage errors happen is because pharmacies did not have the correct weight for the patient.

In many cases, your body weight is not a factor in the medicine you take, but there are exceptions, especially for children since they are still growing. If your doctor needs to weigh you or your child to determine the dosage, it is important that your pharmacy has the correct information or you may receive the wrong dosage. Pharmacy Times gives some examples of how these errors may happen.

Swapping weight measurements

Say your doctor determines your weight in pounds. As long as the pharmacy calculates your dosage based on this measurement, you should not have a problem. Unfortunately, a pharmacy may calculate your dosage incorrectly because they interpret your weight in kilograms, not pounds.

The problem is that a kilogram is only less than half of a single pound, so interpreting pounds as kilograms can result in a lower dosage than you should have. This error can endanger your health by itself and also due to other errors that may compound the effects of the wrong dosage.

Incorrect weight and other errors

It is possible that a weighing error does not originate in the pharmacy but at the doctor’s. A physician’s office or a hospital may not weigh you or your child correctly to begin with, which will affect how the pharmacy calculates your dosage.

Other sorts of errors can result in the wrong dosage. A pharmacy may have missing information from the doctor that results in the wrong calculation. Unclear writing from your physician can also result in confusion over dosage. Since medicine errors can have grave consequences for you and your family, do not hesitate to ask questions about your medicine when receiving treatment.