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Family: Pharmacy gave relative wrong medication

Monday, November 14, 2011

A woman in town for medical treatment is recovering after she took the wrong medication. Family members say she was given someone else's prescription, and it made her sick.

The woman involved here is a relative of an Eyewitness News employee. But she brought us her story in the hopes that it can prevent someone else from getting sick by taking the wrong medicine.

Nahla Said Naiel is from Egypt. She came to Houston recently for treatment of a heart condition and cholesterol.

"Yesterday I feel I will die, I began to speak to my God, 'No my God, please don't take me here,'" she said.

This weekend, she was in San Antonio with family. She began to feel ill.

"I feel my heart boom, boom, boom, boom, all the night. I can't sleep," she said, "I feel I'm not good. I feel bad."

Her doctor recently changed one of her medicines, prescribing her Crestor. She says she went to this Katy-area Walgreens last week and took the medicine they gave her for at least the past four days.

Only on Monday morning did her cousin notice that the name on the bottle she received was someone else's and what's inside, the bottle says, was Bumetanide, a diuretic. All that information was different than the receipt she received, which apparently had her correct information.

"I know it's an unintentional mistake, but we need to be very careful -- it's medicine," said her cousin, Nabil El-Sharkawi.

Worried about the person whose medicine she apparently received, Naiel asked us to go by his address listed on the bottle. There, we talked to him by phone. He claims he, too, recently received the wrong medication from that very same Walgreens.

"I think that somebody needs to do some cleanup work," said Phillip Davila, the son-in-law of the man whose name was written on the prescription bottle.

That man says Walgreens gave him the right medicine as soon as he notified them. The same happened with Naiel on Monday morning. They even refunded her money.

But her greater concern is that someone else could get the wrong medicine.

"They must look at the medicine, not take like, like I'm doing here," Naiel said.

A Walgreens spokesperson says cases like this are rare but they take them seriously. They sent a statement reading in part, "We have a multi-step prescription filling process with numerous safety checks in each step to reduce the chance of human error. We will investigate what happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again."

Walgreens says it has apologized for the error.

It's worth noting that the state pharmacy board says dispensing errors do occur rarely. Across Texas, they received only 193 complaints in all of last year.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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katy, local, kevin quinn
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