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Old 06-20-2003, 11:59 AM
AbbySthrnAccent AbbySthrnAccent is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Texas, U.S.A.
Posts: 3,448
Is it illegal to let a friend borrow Advil (or other OTC remedies)?

TeenSthrnAccent has braces, the bottoms were just added yesterday. Our dentist told him to take Advil, so I gave him some of those little travel packets with two pills for his sports bag. He's starts his day with swim pratice, then teaches swimming lessons until about 10am, then goes to another pool to guard. Late in the day a fellow guard asked him if he had something for a headache. His reply was, I have some packets of Advil my mom gave me." A parent over heard and told my son he could be sued for dispensing medication. Is this true?

It's not like the young lady was in pain and he said, "Here take two and call me in the morning." She approached him.

What say ye teemings?

(We're in Texas.)
Old 06-20-2003, 12:06 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 16,451
In my daughter's high school it is against the rules to take any OTC medication or to give any to someone else (more zero tollerance BS).
However once off school grounds I can't see why it would be a problem IANAL
Old 06-20-2003, 12:10 PM
Yeticus Rex Yeticus Rex is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Himalayas & California
Posts: 6,766
Advil is over the counter medication, therefore he's not dispensing it as would a doctor or pharmacist dispensing vicodin or other pharmaceutical items, therefore tell the nosy parent to shove the Prep H cream where the sun don't shine.

Is this at a school or place of work? There might be policies about sharing any medication regardless of origin.
Old 06-20-2003, 12:24 PM
toadspittle toadspittle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Toadspittle Hill
Posts: 6,118
Right--it's not illegal if it's not prescription, but so many schools are so freaked out about teen drug use, accidental ODs, and lawsuits, that they won't let kids give each other analgesics--or, often, take them themselves. Many kids have to go to the nurse's office each time they need to take a dose of whatever medicine they brought into school themselves.
Old 06-20-2003, 12:32 PM
AbbySthrnAccent AbbySthrnAccent is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Texas, U.S.A.
Posts: 3,448
We knew he couldn't take it to school.
It's summer break here. They've been out of school since May 23. This happened at the sub-division pool where he guards in the afternoon, yesterday. It was another guard that asked him for "asprin".
Old 06-20-2003, 12:34 PM
AbbySthrnAccent AbbySthrnAccent is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Texas, U.S.A.
Posts: 3,448
Thanks for the replies.
Old 06-20-2003, 12:43 PM
Otto Otto is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Madison WI
Posts: 22,505
IANAL. If a child gives another child medication, even OTC, and the other child has a reaction to it, the first child's parents can be held liable. A parent is responsible for the acts of his or her child. In Wisconsin, there is a cap on the parents' liability of, IIRC, $2500 per incident. YMMV by jurisdiction. Given the litigious nature of our society, I would tell any child of mine never to share any medication of any kind with anyone.
Old 06-20-2003, 01:18 PM
AbbySthrnAccent AbbySthrnAccent is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Texas, U.S.A.
Posts: 3,448
These "kids" are 16 and 17.
Old 06-20-2003, 02:29 PM
threemae threemae is offline
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,760
IANAL either, Otto, but I really have to disagree.

On what grounds precisely would you sue another parent/child/person for giving another person medication as a gift which they request. Even a doctor might not be held liable in a number of these cases.

To prove negligence in medical cases you have to prove a number of things including:
that an individual acted in a way that differs from what is expected from an individual at the same level of training

that the patient suffered harm

and that the abnormal treatment/action was what caused this harm.

Add to that, most states have good samaritan laws providing an affirmative defense and raising the standard to gross negligence for people that render medical aid without compensation, I'd have to say that giving out aspirin is a pretty safe thing to do.

Going back to the doctors, if they ask patients if they are allegric to a medication, the patient says no, and the patient ends up having an allergic reaction and dying from the medication which the doctor or another doctor of similar training would had no reason to suspect, you still don't have a very strong case for a lawsuit.

Add to this:
Most OTC drugs like Aspirin/Tylenol are pretty safe
Most people allergic to these medications know it
Most people are reasonable
Most people aren't dicks
Most people won't go suing every chance they get
Most judges are competent, intelligent people
Most juries are too

I wouldn't be too concerned.


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