Tag Archives: wrong drugs

Patients Be Aware. Mistakes Happen

Prescription Mistakes Happen – Patients Be Aware

I have never doubted that any prescription I have filled is the right one. Until now.
On Thursday, I learned to doubt. I discovered a medication I had been taking for a couple weeks was not the medication I should have been taking. The right one was the second prescription filled. The reason I know that is that the new pills did not look the same.

Patients and caregivers be aware and double check that the prescription you get is the right one. We cannot assume our newly filled prescription is the right one.
Ask your doctor and pharmacist how best to double-check. No one wants patients getting the wrong medication, least of all us. Patients – be aware. Mistakes with prescription medications can happen. The mistake can be deadly or worse. Check and double-check that the medication filled is the right one.
Patients must learn to question and double-check that the prescription and treatment is the proper one.
Mistakes happen but being aware might make the difference. In future, I will open the new refills immediately to be sure they are the ones I have been taking. I could have looked closer at the label… the drug names were close – one had an “o” and the other had an “a” …
I have been taking a high blood pressure drug for several weeks as a test to see if it worked and that I had no reaction from it. The blood pressure was down on my next doctor visit and had not noted any adverse reaction to it either and was given a I had the new script filled and continued to use what I had left.

Sometime last week, the skin on my upper right side became tender and sore. I developed a rash on my upper right arm and broke out in what appeared to be dark, fluid filled bug bites in the middle of bright red patches. The right side of my neck was and is stiff and sore. The rashes and pain spread we drove to the ER.
The new thing is Shingles and I was prescribed medications based on the list of medications I already take and gave the list to the doctor.

A prescription error happened but I did not discover it until last Thursday when I opened the new bottle of blood pressure medication and saw it was not the same drug.

The dilemma: the ER doc had prescribed two medications based on other medications, including the new one for high blood pressure. I would not begin taking an unknown drug not knowing the consequences.
I called the pharmacy. The pharmacist checked and said the drug I ‘should’ have been taking was the second one. He asked if I had any of the other pills left, no, but I did have the empty prescription bottle and yes, I took both to the pharmacy the next day.
The point here is not to moan about a mistake. The point is to bring awareness to patients that we must not assume anything.

What happened could have happened in any pharmacy …mistakes happen. I am sure the pharmacy has already set in new check guards so it does not happen again.

An error was made and joined an amazing set of circumstances and medical conditions that began with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) way back about 1995.

Folks…make sure the medication prescribed is the same one you get.
More later… Sharon O’Hara