Polypharmacy occurs when someone takes five or more prescriptions at the same time for the same medical condition or ailment, according to the Mayo Clinic. This practice can have serious and sometimes fatal health consequences.
If you or a loved one suffered because of a careless health practitioner, you could be awarded damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.
A Los Angeles polypharmacy lawyer will protect your rights and hold a negligent health care provider accountable. To learn more, please call the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation with a team member at (800) 970-4884.
We appreciate the medical advances that help us live longer and stay healthier. This includes prescription and over the counter medication for both chronic and acute ailments, ranging from high blood pressure to the common cold.
Yet, there are serious and sometimes fatal consequences if a patient is subjected to polypharmacy.
Polypharmacy occurs when:
- A patient takes five or more medications for the same ailment or condition.
- A patient is taking multiple medications for one condition or different conditions.
Health care providers who recklessly engage in polypharmacy may be held accountable for injuries and damages.
Medical Negligence Contributes to Polypharmacy
Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers are obligated to treat patients according to accepted standards of care. When they fail to meet this obligation, patients can become ill or injured, either from a new ailment or from a worsening of their current condition.
Some doctors do not take the necessary time to listen to a patient’s concerns and symptoms. It is easier and faster to write a prescription and move on to the next patient.
For a free legal consultation with a Polypharmacy Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 970-4884
How Polypharmacy Can Occur
Here are the primary factors that contribute to polypharmacy, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Patients see different physicians, including specialists who typically focus on their area of expertise instead of taking a holistic approach.
- Patients may use different pharmacies to fill prescriptions.
- Patients may not have a primary care doctor to coordinate their health care.
- Patients do not always tell their doctors about over the counter medicine that they are using in addition to their prescription medication.
- Doctors do not always clearly indicate why and when medicine was prescribed.
The more medications that a patient takes, the greater the risk for adverse side effects or interactions.
“Cascades” Contribute to Polypharmacy
Sometimes polypharmacy is caused or worsened by what doctors call a “cascade” effect, according to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This happens when a doctor prescribes medication to offset the side effects of another medication.
For example, a patient might complain that her new medicine is giving her insomnia. Her doctor gives her a prescription to help her sleep. This creates a cascade effect, particularly in patients with multiple health conditions.
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Why Polypharmacy Is Harmful
Polypharmacy is a serious health issue, particularly for older people and for people with chronic medical conditions. One-third of hospital visits for older patients are medication related, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Patients who are taking five or more medications are at higher risk for:
- Adverse side effects
- Adverse drug interactions
- Reduced efficacy of medication
- In older patients, geriatric syndromes such as urinary incontinence, falls, and delirium
Polypharmacy may increase the likelihood of adverse interactions with certain foods, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
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When Polypharmacy Causes Injury, Illness, or Death
If you or a loved one has been affected by polypharmacy caused by medical negligence or error, you could be entitled to compensation. A Los Angeles polypharmacy lawyer can evaluate your damages and file a medical malpractice lawsuit on your behalf.
The Pintas & Mullins Law Firm provides valuable client-centered services, including:
- Research into the cause and contributing factors
- Identify liable parties
- Communicate with liable parties
- Secure expert testimony and documentation
- Negotiate a settlement
- Prepare your case for trial
A careless medical provider should be held accountable for you or your loved one’s suffering. Our lawyers can also help if you lost a loved one due to medical malpractice.
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Damages in a Polypharmacy Case
A lawyer with our firm will vigorously pursue compensation on your behalf.
Depending on the severity of your injuries and your estimated losses, you could recover compensation for:
- Medical care and treatment
- Hospitalization or skilled nursing care
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Lost pay
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Our lawyers work on a contingency basis. We are not paid unless and until we recover compensation.
Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and nursing homes have an obligation to adhere to accepted medical practices. Polypharmacy can be a sign of medical negligence that has serious legal consequences.
A lawyer with the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will establish liability based upon these conditions:
- That the doctor or medical provider owed the patient a duty of care to do no harm and to follow accepted health care practices.
- That the doctor or medical provider breached this duty of care in some way, either through carelessness or omission.
- That this negligence, as defined by the Legal Information Institute, caused the patient to suffer injury, illness, or it worsened an existing medical condition or ailment.
- That the patient has damages caused by their injury or illness.
We have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. While we cannot promise the outcome of your case, we will do all we can to get you compensation and justice.
You Could Be Entitled to Compensation
Polypharmacy is often the result of medical malpractice. A Los Angeles polypharmacy lawyer can determine if you could recover damages. The first step toward potential compensation begins with a phone call to the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Call (800) 970-4884 for a free case review with a member of our firm.