‘Pharmacy issued the wrong dosage’
5:30am Wednesday 29th January 2014 in By Marion Sauvebois
A MOTHER-of-three with a history of depression claims she was left feeling despondent and exhausted after her pharmacist accidentally handed her medication five times above her prescribed dosage.
After a visit to her doctor at Hawthorn Medical Centre, Davina Jayne Hill, 43, of Pinehurst, avoided a trip to her regular pharmacy in Cricklade Road and picked up her prescription next door at Swindon Pharmacy on January 20.
She took her various pills, including the anti-depressant Amitriptyline, each day as usual but soon began feeling drowsy, constantly exhausted and unusually lethargic and depressed.
Upon examining the Amitriptyline packaging on Sunday, she realised that instead of her usual 10mg she had actually been taking 50mg tablets every night.
Although the package contained 50mg tablets, a label listing her full name and the dosage prescribed, 10mg, was stuck on it and partially concealing the real dosage, meaning she did not notice the error until much later.
She said: “I’m on five medications in the morning, some hormones which I’ve been taking since I had a hysterectomy last year, anti-depressants and medication for gastric problems. I’m on three at night so I have to be careful what dose I take because of all the side effects from each.
“They gave me my medicine and then called me in the afternoon to check if they had given me my Amitriptyline. They had. I took them for six days and felt drowsy and really down but I thought I was just having a bad time because I suffer from depression.
“I was really upset when I found out. I trusted them and I don’t know if, in the long-term, it could affect me. I was five times over my normal dose.”
She returned to the pharmacy on Monday. She said: “You can’t afford to mess around with people’s health and their medication. They’ve put me at risk.”
The pharmacy is still under enforcement notice from Swindon Council for opening without planning permission last year.
It launched at the front of the Hawthorn Medical Centre in October 2013 despite losing a lengthy battle with the council to gain planning permission.
An application was subsequently submitted to have the pharmacy recognised as a lawful development, but this was refused by the council and an enforcement notice was sent out.
Angela Brunning, practice manager at the Hawthorn Medical Centre said: “For confidentiality reasons we can’t comment on individual cases.
“My lead GP can confirm that the drug concerned is given at the following doses of 10mg-75mg for pain management, 10mg-150mg for migraine and 75mg-200mg for depression. A 10mg dose going up to 50mg dose of the drug prescribed will not have any persistent adverse health implications on the patient.
“Where a mistake is made every effort is made to contact the patient. If the patient chooses not to act on that we can’t be held responsible. The pharmacy takes all precautions to mitigate errors but mistakes do get made and there is a process for patients to go through for complaints.”
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