Can Medication Errors Cause Brain Injuries in Massachusetts?

Any drugs that you put into your body can affect the way your body functions.  In most cases, this is intentional: you want the effects of the medication to help you in some way.  However, when there are medication errors, unintended effects can cause injuries and side effects that can leave you sick or injured.

Brain injuries are sometimes caused by medication errors.  Specifically, giving a patient the wrong drug can affect brain function, as can giving them the wrong dosage.  While most injuries from medication errors are more likely to affect the function of your liver and kidneys, some drugs will affect your brain function.

If you were injured by a medication error, talk to an attorney immediately. The Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan offer free case reviews.  Call us today at (617) 925-6407.

How Medication Errors Can Cause Brain Injuries in Massachusetts

As mentioned, many medications are more likely to cause injury to the liver or kidneys than to the brain.  However, injury to the brain can be a side-effect of many drugs or for drugs taken in a dangerous dosage.  Whenever your doctor is considering prescribing a medication to you, they should weigh the side effects against the intended effects and make a determination about whether the drug will be more helpful than harmful.  They should also consult with you and inform you of the potential side effects so that you know what you are putting into your body.  When they fail to do this, they could be responsible for the effects.

The most common way that a doctor fails to consider the effects of the drug they prescribe you to take is when there is an actual error in writing or filling the prescription.  In these cases, an error typically occurs in one of the following ways:

  • The doctor inputs the wrong drug or dosage into the prescription system.
  • The pharmacy fills the wrong prescription by either mixing up pills, supplying the wrong drug, or supplying the wrong dosage.
  • Mistakes and errors in manufacturing the drug cause the pills to contain the wrong ingredients.

If the patient receives a drug that has an unreasonable risk of brain damage or they were unable to give informed consent because of the medication error, they could indeed suffer serious brain injuries.  Patients trust their doctors and pharmacists, so patients will often go on taking medication that makes them feel bad or has strong side effects, especially if their doctor is unaware of the mistake and encourages them to continue taking the drug.  It might take months or even years of taking a drug before a doctor realizes the mistake and notices the resulting brain injuries and effects.

Who is Responsible for Medication Errors Resulting in Brain Injuries in Massachusetts?

As mentioned, medication errors could come into play because of errors that the doctor, pharmacist, or drug manufacturer commits.  Ultimately, any of these parties could be held liable for their mistakes, or a combination of these parties can be held liable.


When a doctor commits the initial mistake, they can often be held liable for the results of the mistake.

In some cases, your doctor might be completely innocent of the original mistake, but they could still be liable for later issues down the road.  For example, a patient whose doctor writes a perfectly good prescription could nonetheless face injuries from medication errors because the pharmacy made a mistake.  While the doctor might not be liable for the original medication error, they could have committed malpractice along the way if they failed to properly follow up with the patient about their medication.

Doctors routinely ask patients what medications they are taking.  By performing this review, your doctor will be able to see that the medication they meant for you to take was not filled properly, and they can correct any issues right then and there.  If they fail to perform this review or do not investigate the irregularities you report at that time, they could be held liable for failing to provide proper care.

Proper treatment of patients on certain medications also involves checking on the patient to see how they are tolerating the medication.  This could involve simple questions about whether the drug makes them dizzy, makes them tired, or even gives them diarrhea.  Any suspicious side effects should be investigated, especially if the side effects involve cognitive function issues that the “right” drug should not have caused.  Some drugs might also require blood tests or other screening to check for side effects or medication errors.

Talk to your Wakefield personal injury lawyers about whether the doctor shared responsibility for causing your brain injuries or other complications from a medication error.


Pharmacies and pharmacists have certain rules they must follow about how to fill a prescription.  In some cases, pharmacists might be responsible for checking with a doctor to see if a prescription is correct.  Experienced pharmacists might be able to tell that a certain dosage must be an error (e.g., 100mg instead of 10mg) and follow up with the doctor to confirm.  Failing to do so could put the blame on them.

Some drugs are also limited because of the severity of potential side effects and the drug’s potential for abuse.  Although it makes getting a prescription filled more inconvenient for patients, these rules are in place to protect patients.  Failing to follow these rules could make a pharmacist liable for medication errors.

Lastly, pharmacists sometimes make simple mistakes, like putting the wrong pills in the wrong bottle.  These mistakes can seriously injure patients, and our Somerville personal injury lawyers can hold pharmacies responsible for these errors.

Pharmaceutical Companies

Drug companies sometimes make mistakes in manufacturing that cause a batch of medication to be tainted or unsafe.  Patients can often sue for unsafe results and injuries that result from these pharmaceutical errors.  Sometimes, pharmaceutical companies are even held responsible for severe problems with medication that go unreported to users, such as side effects that appeared during drug trials but were not properly released to the public.

Some notable cases in the past involved brain injuries for babies of pregnant patients who took certain medications.  For help with a case against a pharmaceutical company, call our Cambridge personal injury lawyers immediately.

Call Our Massachusetts Medication Error Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one faced brain injuries because of a medication error, call our Malden personal injury lawyers today.  For a free case review, contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407.