Saturday, August 15, 2009

Deadly Pharmacy Error

Friday, August 14, 2009

Today I took care of Beetles eye with her various eye medications, and set out to go to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription the vet called in the previous afternoon. The traffic was crazy. I finally arrived ready to run in and out. Ha! I was told they didn’t have the medication and wouldn’t have any until Monday. I shook my head and began to leave. No way. I got back in the long line to find out if I could get the prescription filled somewhere else. The lady behind the counter and called their other store. Nope, they didn’t have it either. I would have to locate somewhere else myself. I asked her to write down the name of the medication so I knew what to ask for. She handed me a piece of pager with the medication name with a 6% solution. OMG! No! This was suppose to be1%. She matter of factly said, "We have that in stock." I’m thinking “what, are you kidding me?” The 2% caused serious side effects and you were going to give me 6%. That surely would have killed my dog. Unshaken, she said she couldn’t read what was written as the prescription was called in. I couldn’t believe my ears. She said to move to the other window and she would bag my 1% medication. End of discussion. What more would I accomplish by making a scene? Needless to say, I will never use this pharmacy again.

I certainly learned a couple of good lessons today.

Pay attention to what your Dr. is saying about your medication. I was very fortunate that I knew 6% was deadly. Always, always, double check your medications. What if the prescription was filled, no questions asked and I had administered one single drop to my beloved Beetle? The guilt of killing her would be more than I could bear.

And finally, GOD does work in mysterious ways. How grateful I am that they didn’t have this 6% solution in stock and my questioning revealed this potentially deadly error. How often does this happen and death or injury is caused because of someone’s sloppy hand writing. I am so appalled that it could happen even one time.

When I got home I once again wrote all over the bottle and package with red marker, to make it clear this medication does not go in Beetles eye.

This afternoon I carefully examined the bottle for 1% and apprehensively placed a single drop onto a piece of peanut butter and jelly sandwich. From there I put more eye drops into her eyes and made sure to watch her for drooling or any other side effects. So far, so good. She will only get the one dose today. Tomorrow, I will try the twice a day as prescribed. If all goes well, I will continue all medications until our recheck appointment.

As an ending thought, poor Beetles eye still looks terribly red tonight. I pray it will improve tomorrow.


  1. Even happens with us humans. I had a prescription that at the time I took on an as needed basis for pain. Last time I had it refilled it was months before I needed any again when I noticed that the color was different than it usually is. Needless to say, I did not take it.

  2. I can't believe with todays technology, these errors can't be avoided. You know someone, somewhere has died because of pharmacy error. Probably lots of someones. How sad.