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Two Rite Aid Medication Mistakes Cause Illness in 88-Year-Old Patient

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law
Posted on Oct 29, 2011
A patient who narrowly escaped a prescription drug error eight months ago has fallen victim to a medication mistake from the same pharmacy.

In the first case, 88-year-old Irene Lafond noticed that the pills she received from a Rite Aid in Worcester, MA didn't look familiar. When Lafond called her doctor and read her the label, she was surprised at her reaction.

"She said ‘I didn't prescribe those. Don't you dare take them. Those are dangerous,'" Lafond reported.

Her son returned the pills to the Rite Aid on Greenwood Street, who apologized for the mistake. But this week, she received another mistaken prescription from the same location.

Lafond had two prescriptions on file at Rite Aid: prednisone for arthritis, and hydrochlorothiazide for high blood pressure. Unfortunately, the staff gave her a bottle labeled with the name of her arthritis pills, but it actually contained her blood pressure medication-and as a result, she took twice her prescribed dose of blood pressure medication for two weeks.

The increased dosage made her ill, resulting in nausea, weakness and pain. She lost her appetite due to the stomach symptoms, and was worried her heart problems would get worse.

When the mistake was finally discovered, Lafond's son again complained to the Rite Aid pharmacy. The pharmacy manager offered him a him a $25 gift card, which he declined.

Lafond believes that the mistake definitely could have cost a less cautious senior citizen their life:

"What if they do it to some other elderly person, some have a touch of dementia or Alzheimer's and they don't look at stuff like that," she said. "I do!"

Lafond will definitely be changing pharmacies after this incident, stating "I don't trust them no more. Two mistakes, no."

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