Teenager ‘made sick’ by out-of-date drugs

Amy Humphreys and brother Paul
Amy Humphreys and brother Paul

A distressed family are hitting out at a high street pharmacy, claiming out-of-date tablets made their autistic son “violently” ill.

Paul Humphreys, 18, of Meadow Way, who also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was prescribed two Concerta XL 36mg tablets on Saturday, November 5, by Leighton Buzzard’s Rosehill Pharmacy.

Paul's medication

Paul's medication

The mechanics student, who takes the medication to help calm himself, swallowed the first tablet on the Saturday at 2pm and the second on the Sunday at 10am.

However, by 5pm Sunday evening his family claim he began vomiting ‘violently’ and suffering from chest pains.

His sister, Amy Humphreys, 21, said: “ It was horrible!

When Paul started being sick, my gut instinct told me to check the medication and I saw that the tablets had gone out of date in June!

“We had to call the NHS on 111 and they referred us to an out of hours doctor at Stoke Mandeville.

“My brother-in-law and I rushed Paul to hospital.

“The doctor suggested it was the tablets, as Paul didn’t have a bug, virus or fever.”

Paul had been prescribed the daily medication for the previous four to five years, his family claiming the student had never had any side effects, even if taking a tablet a few hours late.

He had been supposed to take the first tablet on the Saturday morning, but the family had to collect the prescription from town, meaning he took it later that day at 2pm.

Paul was usually given a monthly prescription, but Amy claimed that on the Saturday, the pharmacy only had two tablets and she returned on the Monday to pick up the rest of the month’s prescription and tell the pharmacy about Paul’s experience.

The doctor at Stoke Mandeville advised that Paul take anti-sickness tablets, and the family says the vomiting didn’t stop until the Tuesday.

Amy claimed: “I was really angry because it should never have occurred and Rosehill weren’t very sympathetic – they just said ‘oh, sorry’.

“But those Concerta XL tablets should never have left the store! Paul’s autism means that his brain functions differently. He doesn’t know how to communicate and finds decision making difficult. Our mum is his full-time carer and the incident has made him worried about taking his medication.”

Paul and Amy live in their family home with parents Sue and Pete Humphreys, granddad Malcolm, 72, and younger brother, Peter, 15.

Paul hopes to have a career in maths or engineering and is a third year student at Central Bedfordshire College.

Mitesh Aggarwal, Rosehill Pharmacy store manager, said: “The matter has been brought to the company’s attention and we are carrying out a full investigation. We cannot comment any further.”

Rosehill is part of the Jardines Pharmacy branch.