Mom Says Pharmacy Sickened Her 5-Year-Old by Mistakenly Giving Her 5 Times the Dose of ADHD Medication

A North Carolina mom said her daughter ended up in the emergency room after a pharmacist wrote the wrong dose on her child’s medication instructions

<p>WXII/YouTube</p> Quillivant XR is a stimulant medication.


Quillivant XR is a stimulant medication.

A North Carolina mom says her daughter, 5, ended up in the emergency room after she was mistakenly prescribed an overdose of ADHD medication, prompting an investigation by the state’s pharmacy board.

The Mount Airy, North Carolina, mom told WXII-12 that her daughter, who was recently diagnosed with ADHD, was prescribed 1 mL of Quillivant XR, a liquid stimulant, by her doctor.

However, the mom said the pharmacist’s label listed the dosing at 5 mL. Thirty minutes after taking a dose of the medication, the mom said her daughter became extremely sick.

She contacted a nurse who said to lower the dose, which the child reportedly tolerated well. When the dose was increased to the 5 mL dose, she became ill again.

“My daughter is small for a 5 year old. She’s more the weight of a 3 or 4 year old. And this could have killed her, because it’s a strong stimulant drug,” the mom told the outlet, adding that her daughter was admitted to the emergency room after she spoke to her daughter’s doctor.

<p>Getty</p> A pharmacist hands medication to a customer.


A pharmacist hands medication to a customer.

As the Mayo Clinic explains, stimulants are “typically the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD.”

“Despite their name, stimulants don’t work by increasing your stimulation,” the Cleveland Clinic explains. “Rather, they work by increasing levels of certain chemicals (neurotransmitters) in your brain called dopamine and norepinephrine….Studies have shown that approximately 80% of children with ADHD have fewer symptoms after finding the correct stimulant medication and dosage.”

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But as the mom told told WXII-12, the doctor said "'Something's not right. This is supposed to be 1mL. That's way too much. Are you sure?'"

The mom says she called the pharmacy to inform them of the medication error, and says the pharmacist apologized, saying she was rushing because she was short-staffed.

"We're very upset about it. She's still not 100 percent,” the mom told the outlet. “She's still missing school. She was most upset because they had their 100th Day of School party and she didn’t get to attend it. It's just a really sad situation all around."

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The pharmacy chain issued a statement to NBC News, saying, “In the event of any prescription error, our first concern is always for a patient’s well-being. Our multi-step procedure includes several safety checks to minimize the chance of human error and we have reviewed this process with our pharmacy staff in order to prevent such occurrences.”

Citing patient confidentiality laws, Walgreens did not comment on this specific case to NBC News.

PEOPLE has reached out to Walgreens for more information.

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