Reports: British woman prescribed erectile dysfunction cream instead of eye cream


PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Media reports in the United Kingdom say a woman was mistakenly prescribed an erectile dysfunction cream for dry eye.

The case, according to Sky News, was detailed in a British Medical Journal case report, and the patient, who was not named, was described by Sky News as a woman from Glasgow.

According to an abstract provided by BMJ, the patient suffered chemical injuries to her eye, as a result prescription and use of an erectile dysfunction cream called Vitaros. She was originally prescribed an ocular lubricant named VitA-POS.

On the website of AFT Pharmaceuticals, VitA-POS is described as being used to keep dry eyes lubricated during the night by prevention evaporation from the eye surface, while Vitaros, according to the website electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC), is a cream that "may be irritating to the eyes", and users were advised to wash their hands after using the product.

In the abstract to the BMJ report, the authors said the woman was treated for a mild eye chemical injury with topical antibiotics, steroids, and lubricants, with good response. The abstract went on to say while prescribing errors are common, and medications with similar names and/or packaging increases risk, it is unusual that no one, including the patient, doctor, or pharmacist, questioned as to why erectile dysfunction cream was prescribed to a female patient, with instructions to apply the cream to her eyes.

FOX 10 reported on this story from Phoenix