The prescription mistake lawsuit was filed by the family of Mary Moore, who died in November 2010 after being given an antihistamine, Hydroxyzine, instead of her hypertension medication, Hydralazine.
Antihistamines are used to treat sinus problems and allergies, while hypertension medication is used to treat high blood pressure.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Jefferson Circuit Court against the Walgreens drugstore, as well as the pharmacist who allegedly gave Moore the wrong medication.
According to the complaint, Moore had suffered previously from congestive heart failure and kidney failure due to her high blood pressure. In addition to not getting her hypertension drug, the medication she was given, Hydroxyzine, is known to cause confusion and oversedation in the elderly.
Moore allegedly took the wrong drugs for two weeks before the problem was discovered and the pharmacist gave her the correct medication. However, the family alleges that the damage was already done, causing Moore to be hospitalized and subsequently die due to the pharmacy mistake.
Medication mistakes are considered a preventable problem, which can almost always be avoided with simple steps, such as double-checking all medications and ensuring that prescriptions and drug labels are clearly printed. Many safety experts have argued that the number of drug mistakes could also be reduced by the use of computerized prescriptions.