By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODSTOCK -- W.W. Robinson kindergartner Abigail Ogle could've taken a potentially harmful dose of her medication Tuesday if it weren't for an alert school nurse.
When her daughter ran out of her attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder medicine, dextroamphetamine, Tuesday, Rebecca Ogle went to her normal pharmacy with a prescription from Abigail's pediatrician.
That pharmacy was out of the drug, so she turned to the Woodstock Wal-Mart, she said.
"I went to go pick it up and I returned it to the school, and Nurse Cary said, 'This isn't right,'" Ogle said. "She said, 'This is time-release capsules.' My daughter takes tablets."
The mom asked school nurse Cary Sigler if there was a difference between the two versions of the medicine, which Abigail takes twice a day.
"She said, 'Yeah, there's a big difference,'" Ogle recalled.
Her daughter's pediatrician's office said it hadn't written a prescription for the time-release capsules, she said, so the next call was to Wal-Mart.
"Wal-Mart said, 'It wasn't specifically written that way [for tablets], so we can fill it any way we want,'" Ogle said.
She added, "As a parent, I'm flipped out. That's scary, that's very scary. Had Nurse Cary not have caught this, we would've overdosed her."
Ogle, who also has a 3-year-old daughter, said Abigail has been taking the medicine since she was 3, but having ADHD herself, she said she knows how it feels to live with the disorder, and wanted to help her little girl.
Abigail takes 5 milligrams of her medicine at breakfast and another 5 milligrams at lunch. Both doses are given at school, and because she doesn't take it on the weekends, the pill bottle is kept at school, Ogle said. She said the doctor's office had put the name of the drug and the strength, but not what form the medicine should be in, on the prescription.
She said the manager on duty at the store Tuesday apologized to her, but said he didn't have oversight over the pharmacy.
"Stupid little people like me that trust the pharmacist," Ogle said. "As a parent, that scared the bejesus out of me. If this has happened to me, it's happened to other people and it's scary. It's terrifying."
On Wednesday, Sigler, who has worked at W.W. Robinson Elementary School for 15 years, said she was just following policy and procedure.
"We do that everyday with every child," she said. "When things don't match up, we make the phone calls."
Had Abigail taken two doses of the time-release capsules, she "absolutely" could've been harmed, Sigler said.
"As soon as we got the medicine, we caught it," she said. "Our main goal is to keep everybody safe."
A Wal-Mart manager referred any questions to the company's corporate office.
Mitsi Lizer, an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Shenandoah University, said the reason behind longer-acting capsules is so patients don't have to take a second dose midday. She said that reduces the stigma children may face if they're called to the nurse's office to take medicine.
Parents and patients should ask questions if they notice a discrepancy, Lizer said.
"I think she needs to rely on the expertise of both the pharmacist and the physician," she said. "Certainly, it's good to question. If she doesn't trust something, she should go back to the pharmacist and her physician to make sure they match up."
A Wal-Mart corporate representative couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.