May 26, 2008

Pharmaceutical Nightmare

Have you ever seen someone's head actually explode? Mine came as close as possible last week and for those of you who have never seen me really mad, you missed a rare opportunity.

We picked up Evan's Epilepsy medication from the pharmacy and the next morning when we opened the bottle, we noticed the pills were a different color. Rob and I started studying the pills. Pink? They are supposed to be yellow. And aren't these a little bigger too? The label is correct, but these don't look right. I remember a lot of hoopla a couple months ago about an anti-epileptic med changing color but I thought it was one of Evan's old meds, surely I'd have remembered if it was the current one.

It was early, the pharmacy wasn't open, so we fired up the computer. Our suspicion was confirmed. The pharmacy gave us the WRONG medication, more specifically the wrong dosage. Instead of 300 mg Trileptal they gave us 600 mg Trileptal. If we had given this to Evan he would have had twice the dosage he's supposed to have and would very likely have ended up in the hospital with a toxic level of the medication is his system.

Back in December, when we were trying to get his medication levels straightened out after surgery, he had a toxic reaction to 450 mg of Trileptal that caused some pretty scary seizures followed by several days in the hospital. Last week we were poised to give him 600 mg. I don't even want to think about what would have happened "if".

The scariest part is that there are three different steps at the pharmacy to ensure something like this never happens. So three items were ignored in dispensing Evan's meds. The level of irresponsibility is astounding to say the least.