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View Diary: Texas mom claims pharmacy's dosage error killed her daughter (9 comments)

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  •  When my daughter was little (12+ / 0-)

    We got a prescription for a liquid (a suspension) antibiotic. What they gave me was a bottle of powder, not the liquid. The directions on the bottle said to give her 1/2 a teaspoon four times a day. If I didn't have a medical background and previous experience with children's antibiotics I could have easily given her way too much of that medication by following the instructions on the bottle. I took it back to the pharmacy and raised hell. They tried to pooh-pooh it as nothing, but I pushed. If this had been something other than an antibiotic or a different mother, there could have been serious consequences.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:15:22 AM PDT

    •  That sounds like sheer laziness (or incompetence) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, FloridaSNMOM, mint julep, hnichols

      of the pharmacist.

      You're exactly right:

      If this had been something other than an antibiotic or a different mother, there could have been serious consequences.
      and you should have filed a complaint with the state board of pharmacy.

      Children's antibiotics are often in liquid form because it is easier for the child to take, but except for a few "ready mix" items, the pharmacy doesn't keep the liquid in stock (e.g., once mixed there may be a short "shelf life").  

      When filling a Rx for an oral suspension, the pharmacy is supposed to mix it (in the correct proportions) with distilled water and give that to the patient in a bottle with the doctor's dosing instructions on the label.

      For example, the antibiotic azithromycin is commonly prescribed as a Z-Pak, which is 6 250 mg tabs.  But it also comes in powdered form used to create a liquid "suspension" -- LINK.  

      The directions on the bulk container -- which normally is not given to the patient -- say "When constituted as directed, each teaspoonful (5 ml) contains .. 200 mg of azithromycin" (see picture at link).

      The label on the bottle given to the patient has the dosage directions from the doctor, not the "constituting" directions from the drug manufacturer.  It sounds as if the pharmacist in your case just took the bulk (powder) bottle and slapped on the usual label with the doctor's instructions and the other usual identifying information.

      We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

      by NoMoJoe on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:15:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't think about filing a complaint (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hnichols

        at the time. I had a very sick asthmatic toddler to deal with as well as my autistic son. Having to go back to the pharmacy to deal with getting it fixed was hassle enough with no car and having to walk both ways. (about 4 miles round trip). So yes, I should have filed it, but getting it fixed and making sure they understood the seriousness of it seemed more important at the time. I never used that pharmacy again after that, even though I had to go further to get to a different one.

        And yes, it was pure incompetence or laziness. They did exactly that, put the label on the bulk powder and gave it to me. I'm just glad I caught it. I have to wonder how many parents don't.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:21:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm almost sure it wasn't the pharmacist. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM

        ...An actual pharmacist has no excuse for doing that, not to mention the fact that he'd be giving you hundreds -- if not thousands -- of dollars more medication than you were prescribed.

        This sounds more like someone who wasn't a pharmacist -- probably some cashier or something -- was pressed into doing the pharmacist's job of actually filling the prescriptions.  I mean ... a bottle of powder?  What the hell kind of medication is dispensed like that to the end user?  

        ....If it was the pharmacist who filled it, he should be drug out in the street and shot in order to prevent his terminal stupidity from harming others.

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