Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why does this crap always seem to happen to me?

I take a pill every night (Toprol XL) for some heart issues I have (PVC's and PAC's)...I currently take the generic, Metoprolol ER. It's an extended release beta-blocker. The generic doesn't work quite as well as the name brand Toprol XL...my dr. said some people can only take the name brand because of this. The generic has been fine for me except the fact that I can't miss a single day of it w/out my problems acting up. For the last week or so I've been having more problems than I have in a long time and I actually started wondering if maybe I needed to have my dosage upped. Then last night when I went to take my pill I figured out what was going on...

The generic Metoprolol made by a certain manufacturer is an oval shaped pill--this is the one I've been taking for months. Normally I just reach in the bottle and grab a pill with my finger without a second thought. For three nights in a row (at least) I actually thought to myself after I took my pill "Wait, did I just take a Zofran? Because that pill was round..." but the pill had just come out of my bottle of heart pills so I just brushed off the feeling. Then last night for some reason instead of reaching into the bottle, I dumped the pills in my hand to get one. And I was shocked to see that half of the pills weren't my heart pills at all. They were little round pills that I've never seen before. I got out my Zofran to see if by some weird coincidence they were Zofran and of course they weren't. I looked on the pill bottle to see if they were possibly just from a different manufacturer. One time I had them change manufacturers on me and not tell me except to label the new pill description on the bottle...but I've never had them do half and half like that. It said nothing about any new pills on the bottle or the patient handout. I called Walgreen's and the first guy listened to what happened and when he realized it wasn't just a different manufacturer he went and got the head pharmacist or whatever he's called. It took him over 20 minutes on the phone with me to realize what the pills were and what happened. By that time I was almost panicking, I was shaking, my teeth were even chattering I was so freaked out. Luckily he finally figured out that somebody had dumped a regular bottle of Metoprolol into the Metoprolol ER (extended release) bin. Thank God the pills were the same type of medication. The problem is my body/heart was getting a single dose of 25 mg all at once and then nothing the rest of the day instead of the extended release 25 mg over a period of 24 hours. The guy was very apologetic of course. He told me they'd refund me my $10 and replace my 30 day supply of pills. They also have to file a report with corporate headquarters or whatever and notify all their employees as well as notifying my dr. of what happened. The guy also told me "Don't throw the pills away--I'm not going to tell you to destroy evidence." What the hell is that supposed to mean? Do people sue for this sort of thing? I'm not sure what to do. I'm still really freaked out by the whole situation and it's made me not trust pharmacies anymore. I'm not doing this post as a bash on Walgreen's or anything. This was just my experience. And I'm definitely not getting my prescriptions filled there anymore. Part of the reason I say that is when I first got on the phone with the manager he was yawning really loud and apologized for it. I told him "It's okay, it's late" because it was after 11:30. I was trying to be nice because I was so nervous. He said something like "Well I've still got 8 hours left to go. Usually when I have these midnight shifts I try to take a little nap before I come in but I didn't get to this time." Greaaaaaaaat...just what you want to tell somebody that ended up getting the wrong medication from your pharmacy. That you're soooo tired and didn't get a nap before you came in. Maybe he was the one that made the mistake because he's sleep deprived! I've just lost confidence in people in general, it's just scary to think that these people (including drs. and hospital workers etc.) have our lives in their hands but they may be so sleep deprived they're having trouble thinking, working etc.

Anyway that's what happened to me last night...I couldn't sleep for a while afterwards either because I was so freaked out. I had to call my sister and talk to her to calm down. I didn't get to sleep til at least 2:00. At least being an Accounts Payable Bookeeper means nobody's life or health is in my hands... HAHA


Anonymous said...

omg, that's so scary, what could have happened! Wow, more should have been done to the one who filled the med! ( in my critical care course i just learned about pvc's and pac's :)
i'm happy that all it was was a reg. metoprolol, instead of something entirely different. take care.

emmakirsten (it won't let me log in for some reason)

Kristin said...

People totally sue for this kind of mistake & I would have if it were a completely different medication.

I get my prescription filled at Walgreens as well. I'm not impressed with their "customer service" & your story only makes me want to switch pharmacies even more!

I'm glad everything is OK though...

Joanna said...

Wow! It was a good thing that it was the same medication. But, still.

Messing with meds is really scary.

And, Kristin is right, people do sue.

Jaime said...

If it were me I'd consider contacting an attorney, that is just scary! I'm glad you're ok!