Sep 11, 2014

Double Check Medications Against the Prescription

Double Check Your Prescriptions -

I had a rather scary experience at Target today:

I was picking up a prescription for one of the boys, who is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. The prescription was for Auvi-Q, which is similar to an Epipen but gives verbal instructions to walk you through the process. Fortunately, we've never actually needed to administer any injections, but I'd feel like a top candidate for the worst mother award if I didn't have the medication available.

The pharmacist checked the medication before handing it to me and paused.

"How much does your son weigh?" she asked me.

I told her.

"Um, he needs the junior and this is for adults."

She asked me to wait, then returned a few minutes later with the original prescription. It indeed said "Jr." but when it was inputted into their computer system, that part was left off. The most disturbing part is that I've picked up this same prescription three times before and no other pharmacist caught the error, even though the adult Auvi-Q box is orange and the kid version is blue, and they double check the medication before handing it over by confirming the patient's birthdate.

Of course, I feel like I failed to some degree as a mother. I should have checked the package when it was first given to me. Nowhere on the orange Auvi-Q package or actual device does it say "junior."

So I'm passing this lesson along: Always check the medication that you are handed by the pharmacist. Make sure that it is what was actually prescribed.

Since you have to hand over the prescription slip, you may want to take a photo of it so you can compare the label for what you receive to what was prescribed. Or, you can check with the pharmacist by asking if the medication and its dosage are appropriate for the condition and patient it's been prescribed for.

I'm just so grateful that we've never needed to administer an injection for an allergic reaction, and I pray that we never will. But you can bet I'll make sure that we have the correct medication on hand at all times.

Image via by posterize.

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