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Medication errors caused by similar names: Zantac and Zyrtec

Medication errors caused by similar sounding medications is very common. Especially vulnerable are the pediatric and elderly populations. Both of these populations may be unable to verbalize there injuries.

Two medications in particular that have been often confused by pharmacists are Zantac and Zyrtec. The mix up between these two medications have caused many injuries to customers.

Zantac is an H-2 blocker. H-2 blockers are used to treat acid reflux. Zyrtec is an antihistamine, used to treat allergies. Both are available in the syrup form. Some errors noted by the FDA involving Zyrtec being given to patients resulting in the following injuries: patient becoming violently ill, continuation of sinusitis caused by acid reflux, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss.

As a result of the study, the FDA recommended separating stock bottles of Zantac and Zyrtec syrups on the shelves. This is a simple, low cost action that can be taken by pharmacies to prevent errors.

Also of note, poor handwriting by prescribing physicians was also linked to causing these mistakes. Poor handwriting by a prescribing doctor is never any excuse for pharmacy malpractice. Pharmacists who are in doubt of how a prescription reads have a legal obligation to take the additional step of verifying the medication with the prescribing physician. Another quality control check would be for the pharmacist to verify with the customer if the medication is to treat their acid reflux condition, or allergies.

Pharmacists are often pressured to dispense as many prescriptions in a work shift as possible. Given the time constraints and pressures put upon pharmacists, they are often unable to spend time discussing the medications with individual customers.

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.


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How do you prove prescription errors?

With over a billion prescriptions filled annually by the largest pharmacies in the US, millions of errors are made, and many of them are not discovered by the pharmacy. Customers often learn that their pharmacy gave them the wrong medication because they receive a phone call from the pharmacist. However, many times the error goes undetected by the pharmacy, and is discovered by the customer.

In these types of cases, the injured customer needs to preserve all evidence. This includes packaging, instructions, and pills. Often times, a pharmacy will advise you to bring in the incorrect medication. The pharmacy will then destroy it, leaving the injured customer with no proof that they received the wrong medication. Before you return the medication to the pharmacy, an attorney should be immediately contacted.

Pharmacies and their insurance companies often deny that errors took place. In these cases, an attorney can request a prescription history log from the pharmacy. Sometimes, the pharmacy will have put in black and white evidence that it dispensed an incorrect medication.

Also important are witnesses. A spouse or other family member can give testimony about what they witnessed.

In all cases in which a customer consumes an incorrect medication, immediate medical help is needed. Even if you are feeling fine, there may be hidden side effects. Medical records can document that an error occurred. Ideally, a customer receiving the wrong medication should bring the prescription with them to a doctor. The doctor can inspect the medication and determine if a mistake occurred.  

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.


Posted in Blog, do i have a pharmacy error case, do i have a prescription error case, how to prove pharmacy error, how to prove prescription error Tagged with: , ,

Pharmacy confuses similar sounding medications resulting in patient’s death

A recent lawsuit filed by the executor of the estate of a deceased woman, illustrates the dangers associated with a pharmacist’s confusion over similar sounding prescription medications. In this case, a woman was prescribed Metolazone, a diuretic. The pharmacist mistakenly gave her Methotrexate, a cancer medication. Methotrexate suppresses the immune system. The pharmacy malpractice victim was not suffering from cancer, and subsequently died from the mistake.

Like most prescription medication errors, this was preventable. The pharmacist need only take an extra couple of seconds to verify with the woman that she was prescribed Methotrexate. Methotrexate side effects include: Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness, dizziness. Temporary hair loss may also occur.

In this case the pharmacy was negligent in the following ways:

  • giving the woman the wrong medication
  • not verifying her medication
  • failing to follow proper safeguards for Methotrexate
  • failing to disclose to the injured party the name of the medication and its side effects
  • failing to obtain informed consent

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.

Posted in Blog, pharmacy gave me someone else's prescription, pharmacy gave me wrong medication, wrong name on medication, wrong name on prescription Tagged with: ,

Pharmacy errors – potentially fatal drug combinations

Pharmacies should have systems in place to alert pharmacists when a customer tries to fill prescription medications that could be harmful when combined. Automated alerts should create what is referred to as a “hard stop.” This will stop a pharmacist from dispensing medications that could be dangerous when combined.

A pharmacist’s failure to obey this alert and to dispense these medications is negligence. At a minimum the pharmacist should warn the customer of potentially dangerous drug combinations. When a pharmacist fails to warn of potentially dangerous drug interactions, and customer injury results, the pharmacy and pharmacist are liable for financial damages.

Examples of dangerous combinations include;

Clarithromycin, and antibiotic, when combined with Ergotamine, a migraine medication, is a potentially fatal combination that can result in stroke or gangrene. Simvastatin, a cholesterol medication, can also be fatal when combined with Clarithromycin.

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.


Posted in Blog, fatal drug interaction wrong prescription, fatal pharmacy error lawyer, fatal pharmacy errors, fatal prescription error, sue for fatal pharmacy error Tagged with: , , ,

Mistaken identity leads to prescription error

Mistaken identity leads to prescription medication mistake by pharmacy

I recently handled a prescription medication error claim against a Connecticut pharmacy. The facts defy logic, but show the need for pharmacies to have systems in place to check and cross check that prescriptions are being accurately filled and distributed.

In this case, we had two men with the same first and last name who filled prescriptions at the same pharmacy. When my client picked up his medication, he saw his name on it, and thought that nothing was wrong. After several weeks of adverse side effects, he noticed that the DOB and address on the prescription was not his. After contacting the pharmacy, he learned the medication belonged to another man with the same first and last name.

This is an example of a preventable prescription medication error. The pharmacist should have verified with him that he took the medication in question, his dob, and his address. The pharmacist’s failure to do so constitutes negligence. Because the pharmacist’s negligence caused injury to the customer, the customer is entitled to financial compensation.

As pharmacists struggle to fill an increasingly large number of prescriptions, avoidable errors like this will continue to climb. In any high volume pharmacy, pharmacists are pressured into filling a large volume of prescriptions.

Large pharmacy chains often place a higher value on the number of prescriptions filled by a pharmacist, rather than his interpersonal interaction with customers. This places customers in a vulnerable position in which mistakes are very likely to occur.

The best way to deter this type of negligent behavior is for injured customers to bring personal injury claims against the pharmacy that caused their injury.

Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.


Posted in Blog, given another persons prescription, injury from wrong prescription, mistaken identity pharmacy error, mistaken identity prescription error, mistaken identity wrong prescription Tagged with: , ,

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