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Pharmacy mistakenly gives abortion drug to pregnant woman

A pharmacy's mistake may result in serious complications for a pregnant woman.

A medication error resulted in a pregnant woman mistakenly being given the prescription drug, Methotrexate, when she was six weeks pregnant. This drug is commonly used to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and some cancers. The drug can also be used for non-surgical abortions.

The woman picked up her prescription from the pharmacy and, thinking it was her antibiotic, she took the drug. She became nauseous and inspected the label. The prescription was intended for another woman who had the same last name but was in her late 50's, not in her late teens like the pregnant woman.

When she realized the pharmacy's error, she immediately called her doctor. She was told to try to vomit before going to a hospital, where they attempted to absorb the drug by giving her charcoal.

The pharmacy has admitted to the error. They will conduct an investigation as well as pay for all of her medical expenses. It appears unlikely that she will have a miscarriage. However, her child may suffer from severe birth defects, including facial abnormalities, neurological problems, or throat problems.

Some health defects may be identified with a sonogram, but others will not be detectable until after the baby is born.

"It's really overwhelming to know that I have to come home and sit and wait," she said about the possibility of birth defects in her unborn, and first, child. "It's difficult to deal with," she said. "Sorry is not going to cut it. I'm going to have to deal with this for a long time."

Source: ABC News, "CO pregnant woman gets abortion drug by error," Adrienne Alpert, 2/8/2011

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