Prescription medication error nearly kills 5-year-old boy

A leading pharmacy chain is under fire after allegedly filling the wrong prescription for a 5-year-old boy. The parents thought the prescription drug, labeled Haloperidol, was meant to treat the child’s allergies. The boy’s name was clearly printed on the label. The parents did not know that the powerful drug is an anti-psychotic medication used in the treatment of adults. 

After administering the prescribed dosage, the boy slept for two days. Upon awaking, he attempted to eat a cookie, which immediately caused his neck to swell. A few hours after the swelling subsided, the boy began to act strangely. He then fainted. He was rushed to the hospital where the parents learned the medication had been prescribed to an adult by the same name.  

Two years later, the parents of the boy are suing the pharmacy for the near fatal medication error. They claim the pharmacy should have known that the prescription was not meant for their son. They accuse the pharmacy of failing to warn them that the drug was dangerous for children in the amount recommended on the label for their child. 

A Pennsylvania pharmacist who worked for another large pharmacy for 30 years, until becoming a whistleblower, stated that working for the company was like a “McPharmacy,” implying the goal was to fill prescriptions as rapidly as possible. He claims he is being punished by the large pharmacy company for speaking out against changes that could lead to serious medical prescription errors.

While the boy does not seem to be suffering any further injuries, the parents state he was deeply traumatized by the prescription medication error. They state that very minor things cause him to cry and that he is still frightened two years later. 

The potential for serious side effects from the use of Haloperidol are grave. They include dizziness, fainting, seizure, tremors and jaundice. While consumers are urged to report pharmacy mistakes to their state boards of pharmacy, it cannot be ignored that negligent pharmaceutical practices can result in serious injuries, and even death. Pharmacies that force their pharmacists to rush through their prescription orders, resulting in fatal or near fatal medication errors should be held accountable for their actions.  


5 NBC Chicago, “Family Says Pharmacy Error Nearly Kills Boy,” Chris Coffey, Feb. 26, 2014