The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has documented numerous cases in which pharmacists have incorrectly given Metronidazole to customers suffering from diabetes, rather than Metformin, resulting in serious injuries. Metronidazole is an antibiotic that treats numerous infections. Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes. The similar sounding names are often a source of confusion for pharmacists, who are pressured to fill prescriptions at a fast pace, and have little time to interact with customers. Another source of the errors is illegible handwriting on prescriptions written by doctors.
In one documented case, a patient who spoke little English and had only recently been diagnosed with diabetes was prescribed Metformin 500 mg twice a day by his family physician. Upon showing his doctor the prescription bottle at a later visit, the doctor noticed that the label said: “Metronidazole” rather than Metformin.
A source of this medication error was that the computer screen reads “METF” for Metformin and “METR” for Metronidazole. The pharmacist typed “MET” in the computer and accidentally selected Metronidazole.
Mix ups such as this can be harmful, and even fatal. Diabetes is a serious medical condition. More than 100 million Americans are prediabetic or diabetic. For those suffering from diabetes, Metformin is essential to lower their blood sugar.
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.