Next time, use black ink!

About fifteen years ago, a woman came in with a back strain after moving heavy furniture. Since her Ibuprofen 800 mg hadn't touched the pain, I wrote her a prescription for the lowest dose of a narcotic pain killer. The script read Lortab 5/500. I wrote for 30 pills and 0 refills. Later that day, a pharmacy called me convinced the script had been tampered with. Why, I asked? Because the 5/500 mg now read 7.5/500 and the 30 pills now read 80 pills and the 0 refills had been altered to 10 refills. What tipped him off? My patient altered my script using BLUE ink and my original was in BLACK ink. Since I  Xerox a copy of any controlled drug, we had definitive proof that the script had been altered. We arranged a sting operation and the woman was arrested. Moral of the story? If you're going to alter a narcotic prescription, use a pen with the same color ink!

Sally Burbank M.D.