A 9-year-old British girl was given methadone at her local pharmacy instead of her prescribed antibiotics, which were intended to treat an ear infection.
Alicia McDougall was about to take the “medicine” when she spotted a male patient’s name on the label.
She alerted her grandfather who realized what it was.
“It was a 40 ml bottle — I was told later it was some lad’s weekend supply,” said Alicia’s mother, Sharon McDougall, 30, of Motherwell, England. “I shudder to think what would have happened if Alicia had taken any. She could have died. I contacted the pharmacy to tell them what happened and they demanded the methadone back.”
The incident occurred at a local branch of Alliance Pharmacy, which is part of the giant Boots chain.
“I intended to take it straight to a lawyer but they insisted on having it back and the Criminal Investigation Unit was sent to my home to collect it,” McDougall said.
McDougall said she and Alicia have been offered about $400 in compensation by lawyers acting for the company.
Dr. Carol Cooper, who works for The Sun, said Alicia could have lapsed into a coma, depending on “the strength and dosage” of the methadone.
“In the worst case scenario she could have been seriously ill and her breathing may have stopped,” Cooper said.
“Giving a child a dose of methadone intended for a drug addict is very bad news,” Cooper added.
“We take patient safety very seriously and have robust operating procedures in place to minimize the likelihood of this type of incident,” a Boots spokesman said.