Rx for drug errors

Filling your prescription at the start of the month may be hazardous to your health, suggests a new study from the University of California, San Diego. Researchers analyzed the cases of roughly 130,000 people who died from prescription errors, and found that deaths were 25% more common the first week of the month than in subsequent weeks.

Prescription drug purchases jump early each month, when Social Security and welfare checks go out, says study coauthor David Phillips, PhD. And pharmacists tend to make more errors--doling out the wrong med or dose--when their workloads are heavier. Work with your pharmacist to get on a midmonth refill cycle; then double-check your medications before you leave the pharmacy.

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By S. L.

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