Unsafe Abbreviation-What Does PNV Mean?


A pregnant woman was given a prescription for "PNV" tablets. The doctor used this abbreviation for "prenatal vitamins." The pharmacist mistakenly thought that PNV stood for "penicillin VK," an antibiotic. He filled the woman's prescription with penicillin tablets in error.

Luckily, the woman's husband noticed the mistake right away, before leaving the pharmacy. Before leaving the store, consumers should always look at the label on the prescription bottle and open it to look at the medicine to make sure it's what you expect. If it is not, bring your concern to the attention of the pharmacist.

Created on July 1, 2007

Medication Safety Alerts

FDA Safety Alerts

Show Your Support!

ISMP needs your help to continue our life saving work