A sound-alike drug error went undiscovered for a year when a woman took a heart medication instead of her prenatal vitamin.
The mistake was investigated by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ Medication Errors Reporting Program (MERP). Researchers discovered that the woman’s pharmacist misread the prescription. Instead of filling the prenatal vitamin Prenexa, the pharmacist gave the woman Ranexa, a medication used to treat angina by easing a patient’s chest pain caused by obstructed blood vessels in the heart.
The prescription error reporting service found that the patient went on to refill the medication each month. The error was eventually caught when it came time to renew the prescription; the patient called the pharmacy and asked them to call her doctor for a new prescription for prenatal vitamins. However, when the pharmacist checked the woman’s pharmacy profile, she noticed that no prenatal vitamins had ever been filled.
Investigators from the ISMP noted that the pregnant patient who received Ranexa refused to speak with the pharmacist when she picked up the original prescription. The lack of communication may have contributed to the error; if they had discussed the reason for taking the medication, the mistake may have been caught much earlier.
Fortunately, the patient did not suffer any harmful effects as a result of Ranexa. It should be noted, however, that prolonged exposure to a wrong medication may very well cause life-altering side effects--and if it does, you should be aware of your legal rights.
The pharmacy error injury lawyersat Kennedy Hodges can advise you on what to do after suffering a prescription drug mistake. Call us today at 888-526-7616 for a FREE consultation, or order our free book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.