Pharmacard: A Prescription Drug Monitoring System Designed to Record Drug Histories and Reduce the Incidence of “Drug Misadventuring.”
As a medical student in 1990 I saw a 79 year old woman in the emergency room with intractable nausea and vomiting. Earlier that week she had seen her primary care physician for nausea and a mild cough. Diagnosed with bronchitis, she was given a prescription for erythromycin. Her husband brought in her medications including digoxin which can cause nausea
when blood levels are too high. A markedly high level came back on the blood draw indicating digitalis toxicity. I spoke to her primary care physician who was unaware of her digoxin prescription; completely clueless that she was prescribed the foxglove plant extract by a cardiologist for an irregular heart beat.
Digitalis was first described by William Withering in 1785 for heart conditions and this is considered the beginning of modern therapeutics. Sometime after…
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