What are my rights if a doctor prescribed a drug that I am allergic to?

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What are my rights if a doctor prescribed a drug that I am allergic to?

I went to a Urology doctor recommended by my actual doctor. He did lots of tests and prescribed me antibiotics. I’ve been taking them for a few days and got extremely sick. I would wake up barely able to breath, would have a hard time getting to sleep because I could barely breath, and I am constantly coughing. I just read one of my prescriptions and it is Sulfamethoxazole. I am allergic to Sulfa drugs and it is stated on my patient forum in the allergy section. I thought I was having a chest cold because the last thing I thought is my doctor prescribed me something I’m allergic to. I have been prescribed medicine that said “Sulfa” in the name but didn’t contain the actual Sulfa drug.

Asked on September 29, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Prescribing a drug to which a patient is allergic, when that allergy is indicated on the patient's paperwork, is likely malpractice. However, it may not be worthwhile taking action. You can only recover an amount commensurate with your additional medical costs (i.e. medical costs you incurred only because of the wrong prescription), lost wages, if any, and pain and suffering for long lasting (several months) diminution of basic life functions or disability. Meanwhile, to bring a medical malpractice case, you need a medical expert witness, which is not cheap. From what you write, it is very likely that you'd spend more on the case than you could recover.


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