Pharmacy Gives Child Wrong Medicine

2:00 AM, Dec 13, 2011   |    comments
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Undated -- An Aurora, Colorado mother says she is disgusted that a Walgreens pharmacy filled her 4-year-old son's prescription with an adult dosage.

Cher Gillespie trusted that her Walgreens pharmacist would fill her son's regular Singulair prescription like they always had. A.J. is four years old and has been sick with asthma and other conditions his whole life.

"GI problems, nausea, vomiting, being tired," said his mother Cher.

"The medicine makes him look like a normal child, and it makes him feel better," she added.

This last week, the prescription was filled differently - but that wasn't completely obvious to Cher, at least not at first.

"I looked close and it said Singulair on it, it said the name of his medicine," she said.

But A.J. said it tasted disgusting. Then Cher noticed the pill in the bottle didn't match the description on the label. Soon, Cher would find out the pills were two-and-a-half times the dosage prescribed to A.J.

"It's really scary because you put the life of your child pretty much in the pharmacist's hands," said Cher.

In a statement, Walgreens had this to say:

"Cases like this are rare and we take them very seriously. We're sorry this occurred and we apologized to the family. We have a multi-step prescription filling process with numerous safety checks in each step to reduce the chance of human error. We will investigate what happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again."

Fortunately, 9News medical reporter Dr. John Torres says this type of mix up is rare.

"Errors do happen occasionally. When they happen, they obviously make news, and it's one of those things that isn't happening all the time and is fairly rare," said Dr. John.

Still, Cher is hoping that her story will help other parents be vigilant stewards of their children's health.

We checked with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, and they say their board has taken disciplinary action against seven Walgreens stores in the state of Colorado this year.

For some perspective, though, in this last year Walgreens says they have dispensed 819 million prescriptions throughout the country.

We couldn't bring you a story like that without addressing solutions. Pharmacist Janie Skertich at Gate City pharmacy has these items to remember.

-Always accept your pharmacy's offer to discuss the drug and its dosage. 
-Ask questions. 
-Anytime your prescription looks or tastes different - call and confirm you have the right drug. It may just be that the pharmacy has changed generics, and there may not be a problem. 
-Check with your pharmacist to make sure the drug is appropriate for your child's age, weight. 
-Make sure you have an accurate dosing device. Don't just trust your tablespoon.

Story originally posted by KUSA 9


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