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A Honolulu man is suing Longs Drugs after he says he overdosed when the pharmacy mistakenly gave him an antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia instead of the medication he needed to manage his cholesterol.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Hawaii Circuit Court Wednesday, states that on May 18, 2015, Darin Yamashiro went to a Longs pharmacy on King Street to fill his prescription for Colestipol, which was supposed to help him with his blood cholesterol levels.
But according to the complaint, the pharmacist behind the counter filled Yamashiro’s prescription with Clozapine 200 mg, which is described in the lawsuit as “a powerful, dangerous, and strictly-controlled anti-psychotic ‘black box’ drug.”
The prescription came in a pill bottle labeled “Colestipol.”
Longs Drugs might have to pay up if allegations in a recently filed lawsuit are true.
PF Bentley/Civil Beat
“Black box” drugs are those that include a mandated warning that a medication has potentially serious or life-threatening risks associated with it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires these warnings to be printed on a drug’s label.
The lawsuit states that after Yamashiro picked up his prescription, he went home and took his first dose as directed by his physician. At 2:30 p.m. his wife, Miki Yamashiro, found her husband “in bed, disoriented, slurring his speech, complaining of dizziness, and in great fear for his health.”
Miki Yamashiro called 911 and an ambulance took her husband to The Queen’s Medical Center in downtown Honolulu for treatment.
The lawsuit says that after extensive testing, the doctors at Queen’s found that Darin Yamashiro has suffered the effects of an overdose from taking the Clozapine 200mg, which has a typical starting dosage of 12 mg.
Yamashiro is represented by the Honolulu-based personal injury law firm Turbin Chu Heidt. Longs Drugs, a well-known brand in Hawaii, is now owned by CVS/pharmacy.