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Subject:  Pharmacy Prescription Trouble Date:  7/21/2001  9:32 PM
Author:  choska Number:  32577 of 87711


I'm a regular reader of this board, but this is the first time I've posted. I've seen some helpful advice given in the past here, and I was hoping to get help with a problem where a pharmacy misfilled a prescription.

My girlfriend was given a prescription for an antiobiotic called Bactrim. She had taken this before and had no side effects. After 1 1/2 days of taking the prescription, she started having severe headaches, sensitivity to light, nausea, blurry vision. She became suspicious of the drug & examined the label, which was correct. Bactrim, in double-strength tablets, was the usual dosage for adults.

She then continued to take the pills for another day, and felt the side-effect symptoms worsen. That night she counted the pills left, and realized the quantity given to her by the pharmacy was incorrect, and she thought - if the quantity is wrong, what else is wrong with these pills? Upon examination, the pills themselves read "Augmentin," even though the label said Bactrim. She quickly looked online to find out that Augmentin is a penicillin-based antibiotic, to which she is allergic. Let me repeat again, THE LABEL SAID BACTRIM, BUT THE PILLS WERE AUGMENTIN. The quantity was not correct, and who knows what the dosage of the Augmentin in the bottle was.

She and I immediately went to our local CVS pharmacy, where the pharmacist on duty took the following actions:
1. He gave her a new prescription of Bactrim.
2. Informed us that he was making a report of the error to leave for the pharmacist who was on duty when the misfill occurred.
3. When my girlfriend asked him whether or not to go to the ER to have the possible allergic reaction assessed, the pharmacist replied that she should NOT GO TO THE ER, without giving any information that suggested that he had a clue about either of the drugs. We don't know why he advised this, other than to try to cover up the misfill.

I've heard that pharmacy workers work long hours and don't have much time to spend with each customers, but I don't think that should be an excuse for messing up a prescription.

We were both really upset and panicky after going to the drugstore, and of course went to the hospital. There we had to wait for a few hours, deal with the unhelpful staff, etc, etc but in the end it turned out that she was okay. The mistreatment we got at the hospital is another issue I might post about later, if I get time, because I definitely want to complain. It appears that after she stopped taking the incorrect prescription, the short term side effects subsided. However, the ER doctor and other doctors shes contacted by phone seemed reluctant to talk about any long term side effects.

The pharmacy that did this was a MAJOR chain and from researching on the web I've seen that these misfills are quite common. I can't believe this is acceptable.

For the pharmacy misfill, does anyone know of an agency, organization, etc. with which she can file a report? We've been looking for information on existing pharmacy policy, and groups that try to make some changes so that the number of misfills can be reduced. I wish there was someway to make the public more aware of this sort of thing or to hold the pharmacy responsible.

Thanks in advance!


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