Saturday, September 06, 2008

Watch out for drug names that look, sound alike

I thought this was worth posting even though some of the drug names are not used in Canada. The message is still relevent. For example, Reminyl's name was unchanged in Canada. Also, Klonopin was named Rivotril in Canada.

From the Associated Press:
Take the generic drug clonidine for high blood pressure? Double-check that you didn't leave the drugstore with Klonopin for seizures, or the gout medicine colchicine.

Mixing up drug names because they look or sound alike — like this trio — is among the most common types of medical mistakes, and it can be deadly. Now new efforts are aiming to stem the confusion, and make patients more aware of the risk.

Nearly 1,500 commonly used drugs have names so similar to at least one other medication that they've already caused mix-ups, says a major study by the U.S. Pharmacopeia, which helps set drug standards and promote patient safety.

Last week the influential group opened a Web-based tool to let consumers and doctors easily check if they're using or prescribing any of these error-prone drugs, and what they might confuse it with. Try to spell or pronounce a few on the site — — and it's easy to see how mistakes can happen. Did you mean the painkiller Celebrex or the antidepressant Celexa? ...more

No comments: