Reading the Leaflet Makes You Part of the Safety Solution


Two years ago, a Florida judge ruled that parents have a duty to read the drug information sheets that are given out with prescriptions for their children. The ruling was in response to a case involving a 3-month-old infant with an infection in her mouth (thrush). The baby's doctor had prescribed liquid nystatin to treat the infection. By mistake, the pharmacy dispensed a cold medicine containing a decongestant and an antihistamine.

The pharmacy had provided a drug information sheet for the cold medicine. However, the mother never read it before she gave her baby the medicine.

The baby's infection worsened because the right medicine was not given. The baby's doctor discovered the error during the next office visit. The mother sued the pharmacy. The judge clearly recognized that the pharmacist had a responsibility to fill the prescription correctly. However, he also ruled that the mother had an equal responsibility to read the drug information sheet. If she had, she may have known it was the wrong medicine.

The judge's ruling in this case may seem harsh. However, it brings an important point to light. The information given to you with your prescription is important. It tells you why the medicine is used, its side effects, foods that shouldn't be eaten with the medicine, and other helpful information. Please take the time to read it.

Created on July 1, 2006

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