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Pharmacy mixup could cost expectant mother her baby

Pharmacist filling orders
Pharmacist filling orders
(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A 19-year-old woman in Fort Lupton was prescribed an antibiotic but instead received a drug used to treat cancer and terminate pregnancies. Mareena Silva, who is 6 weeks pregnant, realized something was wrong soon after taking the drug. Silva told KDVR news that when she rechecked the prescription, she realized it was for someone with the same last name: "I didn't notice it didn't have my name on it because the lady's name is really similar to mine."

The drug Silva mistakenly took, methotrexate, has many known possible side effects including liver or lung damage, as well as an increased risk for lymphoma. Persons taking methotrexate must take a pregnancy test before use due to the possibility of birth defects. Used in combination with misopristol, the drug has a 90% success rate in terminating pregnancies.

For its part, Safeway has stated the pharmacy personnel did not follow procedure. Safeway has agreed to pay Silva's medical bills related to the mix-up. The Colorado Board of Pharmacy will investigate the accident and decide whether any disciplinary measures will be imposed against the pharmacy.