Pharmacy mix-up gives woman heart pills for depression

  • 23/11/2015

A depressed woman's illness spiked, her relationship broke down and she struggled to find a job after mistakenly being given heart medicine.

The woman visited a pharmacist to pick up a prescription of her regular depression medication fluoxetine 20mg.

However, she was instead given Duride 60mg, a heart medication used to prevent angina.

She did not question the different name on the box or pill packets as she had been given different drugs in the past.

The woman began to experience greater symptoms of depression, which lead her to see a counsellor.

She struggled to find a job due to feelings of inadequacy, and her relationship subsequently broke down.

She also suffered severe migraines, nausea, experienced random heart palpitations and was constantly tired.

When she went to a GP for a further prescription she was immediately told she was taking the wrong drugs.

The pharmacist who dished out the wrong medication was found to have breached the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall said the error occurred because of the pharmacist's individual conduct rather than systemic issues at the pharmacy.

The pharmacist and pharmacy both apologised to the woman.