An elderly New Orleans woman has sued a local pharmacy for allegedly giving her the wrong medication, which she took for over a month.

Sandra Cook McCrary filed suit on Dec. 12 in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court against Rite Aid Corporation.

McCrary claims pharmacist H. Nguyen gave her hydroxyzine, an antihistamine that is not suggested for the elderly, instead of hydralazine, a muscle relaxant that was supposed to lower her blood pressure. The plaintiff says she only noticed when she received a refill after 30 days and the pills were different.

The case claims the plaintiff suffered severe injuries from taking the wrong medicine including an increased frequency and severity of seizures, a significant decrease in vision and altered mental status.

The filing asserts Nguyen was negligent by failing to properly fill a prescription and failing to assure the proper medicine was dispensed. The plaintiff also claims Rite Aid itself was negligent in its hiring practices, failed to develop and maintain safe procedures for dispensing medication and violated state and federal laws and regulations.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought to cover pain and suffering, mental anguish and any other damages that may be proven at trial.

The suit was filed on behalf of McCrary by Hope Harper, of New Orleans-based Shorty, Dooley and Hall, LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division G Judge Robin M. Giarrusso.

Case number 2011-12821

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