No matter how much we try to protect ourselves from unsafe drugs and pharmacy practices, errors can and do occur. The Consumerist reports that a Utah teen was in ICU for 16 days after a Wal-Mart pharmacist gave him the wrong prescription for his strep throat.
Jessie Scott’s doctor had ordered a liquid solution of oxycodone hydrochloride to treat Scott’s pain — but the pharmacist gave him a concentrated solution, which caused Scott to consume 20 times the prescribed dose of the medication.
Ultimately, we have to trust our pharmacists — online or off — to do what they’ve been trained to do. But I would add that in my experience, when a liquid medication is concentrated — as stated on the box label, above — it calls for being diluted. This should be enough of a red flag to double check with the doctor before taking the medication.
I’m not saying this to criticize the victim in this case; what happened to him is absolutely inexcusable. But we should always try to learn from instances like this.
One of the messages I’ve been trying to communicate since I started this blog nearly two years ago is that, ultimately, you’ve got to look out for yourself when it comes to your health. Because no one cares as much about it as you do.35