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.