These are errors that happen in the home, and a third of these end up in hospital—and some of these don't survive—according to research into the records at Poison Control, a nationwide monitoring system.
Serious medication errors have doubled in the 12 years to 2012, and drug companies must take some of the blame for not making product packaging and labelling clearer, researchers say.
The most common errors involved taking the wrong medication, or having an incorrect dose, or using the medication twice at the same time. Children are also likely to be victims as they take their parents' medications.
"Drug manufacturers and pharmacists have a role to play when it comes to reducing medication errors. There is room for improvement in product packaging and labelling. Dosing instructions could be made clearer, especially for patients and caregivers with limited literacy or numeracy," said researcher Henry Spiller, at the Nationwide Children's Hospital.