Pin It

A Potentially Deadly Mistake 

Pill Box

click to enlarge johnwhite.jpg

Prescription medications are so commonplace that we can start to view them as benign. This is far from the truth. They must be taken as prescribed, and even then they must be used with a high degree of vigilance.

Medications taken incorrectly, or even at the wrong time, can be very dangerous — even deadly. Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the famous Attorney General and assassinated presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, recently learned this in a painful way. She says she woke up one morning and took what she thought was her thyroid medication, then got into her car and started driving. Shortly thereafter, she was awakened by police, slumped over her steering wheel. She had sideswiped a semi in a drug-induced blackout. Apparently, she had mistakenly taken the sleeping pill zolpidem (Ambien), which looks much like the thyroid medication that she claims she thought she was taking.

This is an extreme case of a medication misadventure which fortunately did not — but could have — resulted in death. Always double-check your medications prior to taking them, and always take them as prescribed. Even when you do this, if you think that you may be experiencing a side effect, talk to your pharmacist or physician. Every person is different, and your reaction to a "standard" dose of a medication may not be "standard."

John R. White chairs WSU-Spokane's Department of Pharmacotherapy.

Pin It


Latest in Check In

Readers also liked…


Comments are closed.

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Megan Martens-Haworth

Megan Martens-Haworth @ Kolva-Sullivan Gallery

Every other day

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by John R. White

  • Gut Check
  • Gut Check

    Pill Box: What about microbiomes?
    • Dec 4, 2017
  • Sugar Addiction?
  • Sugar Addiction?

    Pill Box: How much is too much when it comes to sweet treats?
    • Aug 1, 2017
  • Medication Mishaps
  • Medication Mishaps

    Pill Box: Pay attention to the details upon being discharged
    • Jun 6, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in




© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation