A pregnant woman in Fort Lupton, Colorado was mistakenly given an abortion drug instead of the antibiotic she was prescribed. A Safeway pharmacist inadvertently mixed up the medication and gave Mareena Silva methotrexate, which is used to treat cancer or terminate pregnancies. Silva is six weeks pregnant.
Silva says she felt nauseous and immediately called her doctor when she realized there was a different name on the bottle. The doctor told her to try to throw the medicine up and she was rushed to an area hospital, where doctors used charcoal in an attempt to absorb the drug.
Doctors can’t say what the long term affects will be but since Silva was so early in her pregnancy, the fetus is the most vulnerable. Silva can miscarry, carry the child to full-term with serious birth defects or have a healthy baby.
“This is my first child, so it’s really difficult to deal with,” said Silva. “My baby could have deformities. There’s a lot that goes with it.”
Another woman’s name was on the bottle along with a birth date in 1953 but Silva didn’t see the error until it was too late.
“I took it because I thought it was mine. I came back and I looked at the bottle and it wasn’t my name,” says Silva.
This is Silva’s first child.
Pharmacy mix-ups are not new. According to ABC News, a report in the Atlanta Constitution indicated that about 3 percent of all prescriptions have potentially harmful errors including the wrong medicine, the wrong dosage or the wrong directions.
ABC reports that Safeway confirms its pharmacy mixed up prescriptions and says they’re investigating:
Safeway admitted the prescription mistake to ABC and said they would launch a full investigation.
“When the pharmacist became aware of what happened, he worked with the patient and with her physicians to minimize any possible health consequences to the patient and her unborn child,” Safeway said in a prepared statement. “We have extended our sincere apologies to the customer, and offered to pay any medical expenses incurred as a result of a prescription error.