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Did You Receive the Wrong Medicine in the Mail?

If you thought an online pharmaceutical service was any safer than your local pharmacy, forget it. Late last week, the FDA issued a warning about consumers who believed they were purchasing sleep drugs or antidepressants, but received a powerful anti-psychotic drug.

Instead of the nocturnal sleep-eating drug Ambien or a harmful antidepressant like Xanax or Lexapro, patients received haloperiodol (Haldol), an anti-psychotic drug prescribed for schizophrenia.

As you probably expected, reports surfaced after patients taking the more powerful haloperiodol wound up in emergency rooms complaining of dire symptoms, including breathing problems and muscle spasms. Even worse, patients who received the bogus medicines ordered them from a variety of consumer Web sites.

Add these victims to the more than 1.5 million Americans who are harmed by prescription errors every year, one of a litany of reasons I believe the conventional medical paradigm is in desperate need of reform.

USA Today February 19, 2007

Washington Post February 17, 2007