Similar Drug Names That Can Lead to Confusion and Medication Mix-Ups

Jason R. Schultz
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Jason R. Schultz is a Peachtree City Personal Injury Attorney Serving the Greater Atlanta Metro Area

When a pharmacist gets a handwritten prescription, it is up to him/her to decipher what drug name the doctor has written. Sometimes a prescription is written sloppily and in haste, and other times a doctor has poor handwriting, both instances leading to a misread prescription.

Educate Yourself on Common Prescription Mistakes

There are thousands of drugs in use, and many of those drugs go by several different names. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has a growing list of commonly confused drug names that are either spelled alike or sound alike when spoken aloud. This list is continuously being updated in hopes that hospitals and pharmacies will implement safety measures to reduce the confusion.

Some of the commonly confused medication names that are on the list include the following.

  • Advair / Advicor / Altocor
  • Diovan / Dioval / Darvon
  • Floranex / Florinef / Florastor
  • Jantoven / Janumet / Januvia
  • Lodine / codeine / iodine
  • mifepristone / misoprostol
  • Neulasta / Lunesta / Neumega / Neudexta
  • Paxil / Doxil / Taxol / Plavix
  • penicillamine / penicillin
  • Thalomid / Thiamine
  • Viagra / Allegra
  • Zovirax / Zostrix

Any one of these mix-ups could be devastating. A confused medication name leads to a patient getting an unintended medication that could cause serious complications and a delay in receiving the proper treatment. Medication mix-ups can also increase the risk of drug interactions and giving a patient a medication to which they are allergic.

To reduce the risk of errors, many pharmacies are requiring the use of both the generic and brand names of drugs when filling prescriptions. Another labeling safety feature is indicating the medication's purpose on the package. Pharmacy computers are also starting to recognize commonly confused drug names and are being reconfigured to display similarly spelled names in different orders.

Filing a Claim For a Pharmacist's Medication Mix-up

The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is here to help Georgia residents hold pharmacists responsible for medication mix-ups that result in severe injury or death. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation regarding your right to pursue a medical malpractice claim for a medication mix-up. 404-474-0804.

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