ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando woman said a trip to
a pharmacy for a prescription put her in a hospital and nearly killed her.
She said she was supposed to get an antihistamine for allergies
but wound up in a hospital.
Lettree Battey, 78, said the same doctor has prescribed the same medication and she has had it filled at the same Walgreens
pharmacy on South Orange Blossom Trail in the past.
She said when she went to pick up her latest prescription for the generic form of Zyrtec, she didn't expect to get something else.
"It seems like the fellow couldn't understand my doctor's handwriting," Battey said.
It turns out, the medicine she got at the pharmacy wasn't the one she said has been on file since at least 2011, but rather was a medicine for diabetics and is used to lower blood sugar.
"My blood sugar's usually up in the 90s, but my blood sugar after the medication, it dropped to 30," said Battey.
The drugs' spellings did look similar on the paperwork that Channel 9's Janai Norman saw.
Battey said that after taking the generic form of a drug known as Glucotrol, the piano instructor began feeling dizzy. She said she was slurring her words and was so lethargic that her piano students called their parents.
"I would've gone to bed because I felt tired
, and probably would've gone into a coma," Battey said.
Battey said she ran up almost $15,000 in medical bills
, for what doctors ruled a poisoning.
Her attorney, Thomas Nicholl, said what happened to his client happens frequently.
"Sometimes with pretty disastrous results, as you can imagine," Nicholl said.
Battey said the Walgreens store did refund money and gave her the correct prescription, but she said she is not satisfied with that because of the serious nature of the mistake
"Right now I'm thankful that I'm here," she said.
Nicholl said he plans to file a complaint against the Walgreens
pharmacy in the next week.
Walgreens sent the following statement to Eyewitness News:
"Cases like this are rare and we take them very seriously. In the event there is an error with a prescription, our first concern is for the patient's well-being. We’re sorry this occurred and have apologized to the patient.
We have a multi-step prescription filling process with numerous safety checks in each step to reduce the chance of human error and have reviewed the process with our pharmacy staff. We encourage patients to check with our pharmacists or their health care provider if they have a question or concern about their medications.”