FT. LUPTON, Colo. — She is six weeks pregnant and when she went to the pharmacy to pick up an antibiotic her doctor had prescribed, the pharmacist gave her an abortion drug by mistake.
Mareena Silva might lose her unborn child because of the prescription drug error, which occurred last Thursday.
“I took it because I thought it was mine,” Silva said.
Silva said the pharmacist at the Ft. Lupton Safeway gave her the prescription of methotrexate. Methotrexate is used in chemotherapy regimens to treat cancer, but it is also used to terminate early-stage pregnancies.
After she took it, Silva started feeling nauseous.
“I came back and I looked at the bottle and it wasn’t my name,” she said.
The methotrexate was intended for a 59-year-old woman with the exact same last name as Silva’s and a similar first name.
“My doctor immediately told me to try and make myself vomit to see if I could get the medicine to come back up,” Silva said.
Silva was then rushed to Platte Valley Medical Center where they gave her charcoal to absorb the drug.
“For all this to happen now is really overwhelming,” said Silva. “This is my first child, so it’s really difficult to deal with.”
When 7NEWS asked, Safeway admitted its pharmacy mixed up prescriptions.
In a statement to 7NEWS, Safeway said, “Safeway’s first concern is the health of our patients. 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. We have extended our sincere apologies to the customer, and offered to pay any medical expenses incurred as a result of a prescription error. We are also very concerned about how this happened and we are conducting a full and complete investigation. Safeway has pharmacy systems and processes in place to prevent this kind of occurrence. We have a well-earned reputation for reliably and safely filling prescriptions, and we will continue to work diligently to ensure our procedures and policies are being followed at each of our pharmacies.”
Silva isn’t so convinced.
“Sorry’s not going to cut it. I’m going to have to deal with this for a long time,” Silva said. “My baby could have deformities. There’s a lot that goes with it.”
Doctors are checking Silva’s bloodwork to make sure her hormone levels are OK. She could miscarry, carry the child to full-term with severe birth defects or she could have a happy, healthy baby.
7NEWS checked and it is common practice at Walgreen’s and other pharmacies to ask for your address when issuing prescription medication just in case names are similar.