FAIRFIELD -- A former medical office employee has been charged with obtaining 1,200 narcotic pills by allegedly using the doctor's prescription pads and phone.

Palma D'Alessio, 52, of Stone Drive in Westport was arrested on a warrant Thursday by Fairfield police. A longtime employee of Dr. Christopher Mastino, she allegedly filled nine fake prescriptions at the CVS on Post Road East in Westport between December, 2009 and last September.

Mastino discovered the fraudulent prescriptions on Oct. 3 and D'Alessio was fired the same day, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. The frequency of the fake orders and the number of pills in each prescription sharply increased over time, the affidavits states, with the suspect obtaining 160 pills on Aug. 6 and 150 a month later.

Mastino told police that D'Alessio had access to his prescription pads and the office call-in pharmacy system, and although she was not a patient, his records showed the filled prescriptions, as did the Connecticut Prescription Monitoring System.

The CVS pharmacist told police that all of D'Alessio's prescriptions were phoned in; Mastino said he always handwrites orders for narcotics.

D'Alessio declined to be interviewed by police upon the advice of her lawyer. The warrant states that when the doctor confronted her in his office, the suspect admitted calling in and filling the prescriptions.

Hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain, and also for persistent cough, according to the Physicians Desk Reference. The drug may be habit-forming and can lead to physical and emotional dependency.