A MAN who was prescribed a painkiller for a trapped nerve was given the wrong dosage by a pharmacy.

Stuart Williams noticed the tablets he had been given by Boots pharmacy on St James’s Street were three times the strength recommended by his doctor.

Mr Williams, of Ardingly Street, Brighton, who is being treated for a trapped nerve and is on crutches, said: “My flatmate picked up my medication for me as I’m not very mobile at the moment.

“I’m meant to take 100mg of Gabapentin and then increase it gradually each day.

“Even the instructions on the front of the packet said to take 100mg, but the tablets I was given were all 300mg.

“At first I thought I might be reading it wrong, as I was in a lot of pain and I just wanted to take it quickly.”

The 51-year-old said he called his doctor to check and they confirmed it was the wrong dosage.

He said: “They were shocked when I told them.

“It just worries me that I could have overdosed on these without realising.

“Had I taken the tablets I would have been on 900mg by the third day, which would be triple my recommended dosage.”

Gabapentin is a prescription medicine which is used to treat nerve pain.

According to the NHS website, it is important to take the drug only as advised by a doctor, and taking too much can have unpleasant side effects including dizziness, diarrhoea and fainting.

Mr Williams said it was a major inconvenience to have to go back to the pharmacy to exchange the tablets.

He said: “It’s normally only three minutes down the road but it took me more like 20 minutes with this injury.

“I can barely walk at the moment and I was in severe pain.”

Staff at Boots pharmacy were apologetic when Mr Williams told them what had happened.

He said: “When I explained, the pharmacist said it didn’t bear thinking about what would have happened if I had taken them.”

“It was just lucky I checked. But it could have easily happened to an elderly person who might not notice.”

A spokesman for Boots said: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies to the patient for the inconvenience caused.

“At Boots UK, we treat any potential risk to patient safety with the utmost importance.

“As soon as the store was aware of the issue, the patient was provided the correct dosage of his new prescription and reassured of the procedure for taking his medication.

“We have since contacted the patient’s GP and an investigation is being conducted so we can help reduce the risk of it happening again.”