Women’s depression worsened after she was given wrong pills


A woman who was accidentally given angina pills instead of her usual antidepressant medication suffered a worsening of her depression.

The woman, aged 26 at the time, was travelling in 2014 and visited a GP to get a repeat prescription of her usual antidepressant, fluoxetine, sold under various brands including Prozac.

She took the prescription to a pharmacist who by mistake dispensed Duride, a heart medication used to prevent angina, according to a report published today by Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall.

The pharmacy’s medication label, printed and stuck on the medication box, stated the contents were fluoxetine. However, the box and pill packets were marked “Duride”. The woman did not question the name Duride on the box or pill packets as she had been given different drugs in the past.

She started taking the Duride.

“During the time she was not taking fluoxetine, Ms A experienced an exacerbation in her depression,” Ms Wall says. “She started seeing a counsellor again and struggled to find a job owing to her feelings of inadequacy. Her relationship broke down and she suffered severe migraines, felt nauseous, experienced random heart palpitations, and was always fatigued.”

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