Dispensing cock-up at Burnham pharmacy leads to woman receiving Viagra

viagraA dispensing error at a pharmacy in Burnham-on-Crouch led to an unsuspecting female patient receiving medication aimed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, and not receiving her usual migraine treatment.

Elaine Davies, a 51-year-old patient of North Fambridge Road, was at home to receive what she thought was her migraine medication, delivered to her door by the Burnham Pharmacy.

“I have a condition called fibromyalgia which causes muscle spasms and migraines but my medication, Sumatriptan, usually knocks them on the head pretty quickly.

“When my prescription was delivered, I checked the box and saw that the label was correct but that the box itself didn’t match.

“I am used to getting different boxes because the pharmacy always goes with the cheapest brand but I knew it usually says Sumatriptan on the box as well as the label.

“Part of fibromyalgia is that it causes you to be a bit foggy headed so it took me a few minutes to figure out what had happened but once I opened the box and read the leaflet I realised.

“Instead of my usual prescription, I had been given some form of Viagra.”

To Elaine’s horror, sent to her was sildenafil – the generic version of the branded Viagra, manufactured by Pfizer. Sildenafil and Viagra are the most common medications prescribed for the treatment of male impotence.

“At first, I was shocked. I just thought what if this had happened to an elderly person or someone with learning difficulties? It could’ve been fatal if someone had mixed the wrong prescription with other medications.

“I immediately rang the pharmacy to sort it out. The girl I spoke to was horrified and said it shouldn’t have happened but that the two medications sat next to each other on the shelf so someone must have grabbed the wrong one.

“The thing is, according to the label, it had been checked by a pharmacist and initialled as correct. The fact that that failsafe did not prevent this from happening is concerning.”

Elaine then decided to share her experience on social media as a way of warning others to always double check their own prescriptions and medications they have received. In addition to the expected Viagra-themed jokes, other people from the same area then shared their own stories of prescription mistakes.

Elaine added: “It’s not fair to name and shame anyone because it clearly happens all over. But I just want people to be aware that they need to double check they’re prescriptions because it’s a mistake that could have fatal consequences.

“I feel lucky that I was having a clear day and was able to realise the prescription was wrong before taking it.

“As a carer for my elderly parents, it’s really important to me that people look after those who may not be able to double check themselves because if a mistake was made with their prescription, they might not realise before taking it.”

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