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A component of the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS).

SafeMedicationUse Newsletter

Similar Patient Names Leads to Pregnant Woman Getting Wrong Prescription


US media have reported on the case of a pregnant woman who took a medicine that could harm her unborn baby because of a mistake at her pharmacy. The woman was prescribed an antibiotic by her doctor. When she went to the pharmacy to pick up her medicine, she was given someone else’s prescription. The prescription contained methotrexate, a potent medicine used to treat certain types of cancer, arthritis and psoriasis. If methotrexate is taken during pregnancy, it can cause birth defects or possibly a miscarriage. The woman took one of the methotrexate tablets before noticing the mistake.

Based on media reports, it appears this mistake happened because of a mix-up with patient names. The names of the pregnant woman and the person who was supposed to receive the methotrexate were very similar. Read more about this story…

None of us likes to think that our pharmacist, doctor, nurse or other caregiver might make a mistake with our medication, but these mistakes can and do happen. You can play a role in preventing harmful mistakes - read about how to take charge of your medicine...

Read the SafeMedicationUse newsletter about preventing wrong person mistakes.

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