Toddler who had to be weaned from diazepam after pharmacist overprescribed the drug awarded €20,000

A 15-month-old child was overdosed on a sedative for days after a pharmacist wrongly issued a prescription, a court heard.

Arrister John Nolan told the Circuit Civil Court that the child was prescribed 2.5mg doses by a hospital doctor after undergoing surgery, but the pharmacist had labeled the bottle as ‘2.6ml twice a day’, which the unsuspecting parents administered.

One milligram is approximately 0.001 milliliters by weight to liquid.

Judge James O’Donoghue approved a €20,000 settlement offer from Ballyfermot Pharmacy Ltd to Maisy Jane Murphy, who will turn five in June.

Mr Nolan said Maisy Jane’s parents, Aidan and Shauna Murphy, from Mulhuddart, Blanchardstown, Dublin, had to wean their child off the drug under medical supervision.

Mr Murphy told the judge in an affidavit that Maisy Jane was admitted to Crumlin Children’s Hospital for a surgical procedure in August 2018 when she was one year and three months old.

“Upon discharge from the hospital, her mother was given a prescription of diazepam 2.5mg by the hospital’s medical staff,” Mr Nolan said.

“He said his wife was provided with a bottle of diazepam at the pharmacy and labeled ‘take 6.25ml daily’.”

Mr Nolan told the court this constituted an unlawful dispensing of the prescription.

Mr and Mrs Murphy believed they followed directions when administering the drug to their daughter and did so until the 100ml bottle was empty.

“Not only did the child overdose, but when she came off the medication she began to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. The child was over-sedated,” Mr. Nolan told Judge O’Donoghue.

He said Maisy Jane was admitted back to Crumlin Hospital in mid-September with a history of severe irritability after stopping diazepam.

She had been on the drug for up to six weeks and had to be put on weaning doses, which had taken almost two months to get back to normal.

Mr Nolan said the parents went through an extremely difficult time with their child and did not understand why she behaved the way she did or that the instructions involved excessive sedation followed by significant withdrawal symptoms.

Mrs. Murphy had suffered a severe mental reaction.

Judge O’Donoghue, told by Mr Nolan that liability would certainly be found, approved the pharmacy’s €20,000 offer with court costs and said the lawyer had managed to negotiate a very good settlement. Toddler who had to be weaned from diazepam after pharmacist overprescribed the drug awarded €20,000

Fry Electronics Team

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