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New and Unfamiliar Drugs

Mar 10, 2012

When Januvia first came out, I was called by legal affairs about a patient of another MD at the local university hospital whose house staff had ordered 1000 mg Januvia instead of 100mg. The drug was so new that the nurses did not know that it was 10 times the correct dose which was 100mg. So they administered 1000 mg to the patient….

Legal was worried of their “exposure” to a legal suit. But, they were wonderfully surprised when I told them that the safety profile is such with Januvia that no one gets undue side effects or even low blood sugars with even 10 x correct dose.

 Lesson Learned:

Whenever you get an order for a new drug or one that you are not completely familiar with, you should check for what the recommended dosages are for the indication the doctor is prescribing. One extra zero or one decimal place can mean the difference between life and death.

Stanly Schwartz, MD

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