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Woman sues Vernon doctors who prescribed meds that ‘worsened Parkinson’s’

Senior was prescribed metoclopromide, which lawsuit says is known to worsen the disease
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A Vernon woman has sued four doctors who prescribed her a medication that worsened her Parkinson’s symptoms, claiming they should have known the medication is unsuitable for people suffering from the disease. The notice of civil claim was filed in BC Supreme Court Oct. 12, 2023. (Morning Star file photo)

A Vernon senior is suing the doctors who prescribed her a medication that significantly worsened her Parkinson’s symptoms, leaving her wheelchair bound and relying on a feeding tube.

Sharon Wright went to Vernon Jubilee Hospital Feb. 10, 2022, with mild symptoms of Parkinson’s disease — stooped posture, slowed walking, nausea and poor appetite.

Wright was given metoclopromide, or Maxeran, to treat her nausea, on Feb. 24. Her condition promptly worsened, and by March 1 she was unable to swallow and required tube feeding and was transported to Kelowna General Hospital, where on March 5 she was taken off the drug.

Wright has filed a BC Supreme Court notice of civil claim against four of her doctors: Gideon Lamprecht, Caitlin Holtby, Elsadig Elamin and Scott Meckling.

The basis for the lawsuit, according to the notice of civil claim, is that the defendants should have known that metoclopramide is contraindicated in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, meaning the medication should not be given to these patients.

“The defendants … knew or ought to have known that metoclopramide can result in patients developing parkinsonism which mimics Parkinson’s disease but does not respond to dopamine therapy to the same degree as Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.”

The claim states that as a result of the doctors’ “negligence,” Wright has suffered rapid neurological deterioration, an inability to swallow requiring a feeding tube leading to significant weight loss, decrease in mobility leaving her wheelchair bound and depression and anxiety.

Wright is seeking general damages, an in-trust claim for family members, special damages, past and future health care costs, interest and costs.

In addition to prescribing Wright with a contraindicated medication, the lawsuit alleges the doctors failed to properly assess Wright’s underlying condition.

“The defendants … ought to have known that metoclopramide is contraindicated in any patient who is suffering with extrapyramidal disease in the form of either Parkinson’s disease, parkinsonism, dyskinesia or dystonia as metoclopramide’s adverse effects include extrapyramidal disease development as an adverse effect of the medication as it interferes with the dopamine receptors within the brain,” the notice of civil claim states.

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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