One Of New York’s Most Respected Personal Injury Firms

Failure to taper certain medications puts patients at risk

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2023 | Prescription Errors

Professional mistakes related to medication take on many forms. Pharmacists and technicians could dispense the wrong drugs or make an error when compounding fluids for intravenous (IV) administration. Nurses could mix up medications when distributing drugs to patients during their rounds. 

Physicians overseeing treatment utilizing medications can also make major mistakes. One of the more common errors that physicians make when recommending medication is the lack of proper aftercare for their patients. Certain kinds of drugs require a plan to taper a patient off of the medicine. Failing to do so could constitute medical malpractice in some cases. 

What is drug tapering? 

Some kinds of medications are more likely than others to create chemical dependence. Psychiatric medications, steroids and opioid pain relievers are all medications that can cause chemical dependence. People will experience dangerous side effects if they suddenly stop taking the medication. Therefore, even after short-term use, patients often need a doctor to assist them in coming off of the medication. 

Tapering a drug involves reducing the dose that a patient receives slowly over multiple days or several weeks. When done successfully, tapering medication prevents withdrawal symptoms and reduces the likelihood of a patient developing an active addiction. Unfortunately, many doctors simply stop prescribing medications or fail to follow up with those taking drugs that cause chemical dependence. 

Patients may experience a variety of adverse medical events because a doctor fails to adhere to best practices after prescribing them a particularly dangerous drug. Holding a doctor accountable for the impact of negligence and unprofessional care may sometimes require filing a malpractice lawsuit.