Pharmacies frighten me

Just ONE of my many pharmacy nightmares, . . . One oral med that I take requires 4 pills taken at the same time each day to meet my dosage needs. That is 120 pills for a 30 day supply and 360 pills for a 90 day supply. The pills are generic and the pharmacy sometimes changes the manufacturer so they are not always exactly the same size but similar in appearance. I set my pills up in a weekly container as a safeguard. If it says Wednesday and the slot has no pills, then I took them. No need to guess, did I or didn’t I? I also keep a daily log and write the time I take my meds each day, a 2nd safety. I never have to worry if I took my meds or not or fear taking them twice. I set the pills up every Sunday for the week.

One day as I was taking the set of 4 pills, I noticed that one of the four seemed a tiny bit smaller than the other three. Looked the same in all other aspects, (color, shape, etc.) except just a tiny bit smaller. Knowing that the same generic med from a different manufacturer is a tiny bit smaller than another, I looked at the code on the pill. I went to my computer and looked up the code. YIKES !!! NOT the same med. How did a different drug that was never prescribed to me in the same bottles as my meds? And was this just one or how many?

I dumped ALL the pills from the bottles remaining in my 360 quantity and found over 43 pills that were NOT my prescription. How many had I swallowed on previous days without notice? How long have I been taking a medicine that was NOT prescribed for me, and NOT getting the medicine that I needed?

What if on any given day, 4 of the wrong pills, happened to be in the same slot, and no size difference was noted.

The next morning I went to the pharmacy and had a LONG discussion with the manager of the pharmacy. (I also informed my doc.) The manager said it would be investigated and apologized. I was given the correct pills to replace the 43 wrong ones that remained.

After that incident, I asked to have any and all my medications dispensed to me in the manufacturers packaging and not be dispensed by the pharmacy into their containers. That was not always possible since many medications are supplied to the drug store in 500 quantity packaging.

In setting up my pills this past Sunday, one pill that I take is much larger than previous refills but it is one that is in the manufacturer’s packaging. The pharmacy changed suppliers and it is a generic from a different company.

Don’t assume that your pharmacy has filled your prescriptions properly. Take time to check them. They make mistakes. In fact, they make more mistakes than I ever realized. I have used every different pharmacy in my area. NONE are infallible.

If you have a computer, look up the code to be sure you were given the correct medicine and that everything in the bottle is the same.


I take metformin and on the bottle it says this is a blah pill with blah on the back and blah on the front. So I check every pill before I take it so I don’t accidentally take something wrong because I too know how easily pharmacies can mess up prescriptions.

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There are places like that have a pill identifier, it is not the most updated tool but it works.

I also checked the Apple store and there are a couple of apps for that too.

Maybe that can help you!


I am very fortunate and only have one pill I take but I do take insulin. And in the 47 years, I never thought to check the expiration date on any bottle I got from the pharmacy. But last year, when I pulled a bottle out from a new prescription I had just picked up a few weeks earlier, I did check and was shocked to see a bottle with a date that was 2 years expired! I of course took it back and it was the only one out of the seven I got, so I’m guessing someone along the chain wasn’t rotating like they should, but a pretty scary thought if I had opened it and used it wondering why the pump wasn’t working. So on top of all the other stuff we do each and every day, here’s another thing we must do. Follow up on someone else’s job🙁


I did check the internet and identified the pill. That is how I knew it was the WRONG medicine and not just a different manufacturer of the drug.

This could have been a life-threatening event. Not what I would call a little mistake.

What if this wrong drug had been something that could have killed me based upon my health and medical conditions?

Plus, I was NOT getting the medicine I needed while taking the wrong medicine.

Apps ?? :smiley: I am very antiquated. Don’t have a “smart” phone. I am still using a very overpriced landline. Don’t have any wifi, etc. And my computer is hard wired desktop.

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Two weeks ago I picked up test strips from my pharmacy and they had already expired months ago. Did the same as you. Ran back to the pharmacy and exchanged for strips that were still valid.

Why do we have to do the job the pharmacy gets paid to do? Not to mention the inconvenience to make another trip to the pharmacy.

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Why you didn’t complain if the actual time is over?

My pharmacy has scripts all packaged up, stapled, etc. when you pick up. There are times when I have opened everything at the counter before leaving to check items but failed to do so when I picked up the test strips as that was the only thing I was picking up at the time. Never dreamed they would give me expired strips. I DID complain when I discovered this AFTER getting home. I took them back.

If the pharmacy had done their job properly in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to make another trip. Why am I the one needing to check this? Shouldn’t this be the job of the pharmacy?

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The pharmacy betrayed with you. Or may be a misunderstanding which they didn’t notice. You should talk to them in details. I hope they will understand the matter.

The pharmacy changed vendors for two of three of my oral drugs and they looked radically different than what I had previously been receiving. After seeing the first post earlier in the month, I looked up each one to make sure they were the correct drugs. Thankfully they were!

One went from a flat medium round tablet with rounded edge to a thick small oval tablet with sharp edges. Another went from a white tiny oblong tablet to a small blue round tablet and the third one went from a small white round tablet to a peach colored tablet.

Do you mind me asking what they gave you on accident? Just curious…